Tag Archives: HomeSense

Ahead of the curve - Arches

9 arch trend ideas

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9 arch trend ideas

Have you noticed that arches are having a major moment in design? The first thing that pops into my mind when I think of an arch (or arc) is the rainbow, that perfect burst of colour in unison after a rainfall; it’s a natural wonder that always inspires. Architecture often mimics the natural world, and it’s no different with the arch, as it appeared in design as early as the second millennium BC. And the Romans famously used 200 arches in the construction of the Colosseum. Arches tend to lift the eye upward, symbolizing support, lightness and openness. These days, you can find the classic design element not just in doorways but on everything from cushions to earrings.

1. Canyon King ARCHED CANOPY BED with upholstered headboard. $3,199. crateandbarrel.ca

2. Annie charcoal STORAGE CABINET. $2,699. crateandbarrel.ca

3. ART WORK. $99.99. homesense.ca

4. ARCH GREY PILLOW with down alternative insert. $74.95. cb2.ca

5. Delicate chain goldtone LINEAR EARRINGS by AllSaints. $65. thebay.com

6. HUGH MIRROR with marble shelf. $429. cb2.ca

7. TABLETOP MOBILE with stand by Bloomingville. $99.50. indigo.ca

8. JACKIE ROCKER in tan enviroleather with rose gold copper frame. $1,495. montedesign.ca

9. Ella FLOOR LAMP. $149. structube.com


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Better living expert, smart choices

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Better living expert, smart choices

When it comes to houses, lots of people think bigger is better. The median above-grade living area of recently built single-detached houses in Ontario was, for example, 2,380 square feet. According to Statistics Canada, that’s 30 per cent larger than a similar house that was constructed in the 1990s, and almost double the size of one built before the 1960s.

At the same time, condos are shrinking: the median unit built in 2017 was about 30 per cent smaller than the 1980s. Given that condo construction outpaces single residential homes in multiple markets, more and more homeowners will need to learn to live with less space.

Fortunately, relatively simple solutions are available for every room.

Hard-working surfaces

Effective small-footprint design can start with choosing furniture, appliances, and accessories that serve more than one purpose, especially important for those who work from home. One idea: keep beauty and office supplies to a minimum in a simple vanity with drawers and a fold-out mirror from HomeSense, and it could function as both a dressing table and work space. With the right lighting, it could also be easily slid into any unused condo corner.

Seamless seating

Sofa beds add flexibility to a small living or office space. Sleepenvie, the Canadian bed-in-a-box company that makes a clever hybrid foam/spring model, has launched a sofa that arrives in a box at the front door five to 10 days after ordering. There are six styles – from a simple loveseat to sofa with chaise that can be oriented to suit the client. You can see them in real life at Leon’s stores. Assembly is minimal, but a white-glove service can do that for you, if you like.

Office supplies that read as decorative items are useful in small spaces that double as home offices. For those, check out designer Joe Mimran’s exclusive line for Staples Canada. The handsome Gry Mattr collection includes notebooks, organizers, pencil holders, mugs and oil diffusers in grey, black, and tan neutrals, as well as a jazzy Terrazzo finish and scented candles in cement holders.

In the kitchen, a KitchenAid stand mixer in a standout colour with a patterned or embossed ceramic bowl is both pretty and practical.

Multi-function cooking options

Some housing observers now suggest that as food preparation kits and other delivery services continue to grow – especially in urban centres – conventional stoves will be replaced by space-saving wall units, coupled with two burner range tops or induction pads that can be stored in a drawer when not in use. Bosch’s 24-inch wall oven, which has special cycles for faster cooking, combines convection and microwave functions, and plugs in with a 120V three-prong plug, is a well-designed alternative.

Barely there barista

There are other, less drastic, ways to squeeze more space out of the kitchen. I’ve been testing Philips LatteGo coffee maker, which makes terrific regular coffee, espresso, Americano, cappuccino, and macchiato, and dispenses hot water. It has an onboard grinder and milk frother tucked neatly beside the adjustable coffee spout, so using it allowed me to put away a frother and a grinder, clearing up valuable working area and reducing visual noise. That’s a win-win in any small space.

SOURCES

sleepenvie.ca, homesense.ca, staples.ca, philips.ca, kitchenaid.ca, leons.ca, bosch.ca

Vicky Sanderson

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By invitation only, how to be a great guest

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By invitation only, how to be a great guest

What’s more splendid than spending a lazy summer afternoon under a big, blue sky? Why, doing so at a cottage situated by a big, blue lake, of course!

For the cottage-less, opportunities for that will depend on being invited by friends with recreational properties. For their generous hosts, it means laying some ground rules so that visits are mutually pleasant, and don’t add unduly to the weekend workload.

Cottage etiquette

Fortunately, both visitors and their hosts can do their part to see that everybody has fun.

Hosts can avoid an exhausting revolving door of guests by sticking to designated weekends for visitors that work with the family schedule. Unless, of course, an endless stream of folks is their idea of fun.

Cottages that are easy-care mean less worry about guests. Fortunately, handsome and low-maintenance furniture and accessories — for both indoors and out — are a boon. Great examples include weather-resistant outdoor cushions and rugs from Crate and Barrel and unbreakable dishware in pretty patterns or realistic wood grains from retailers like HomeSense.

Host/guest relations

The savvy host tells guests what to expect, including whether they should bring bedding, sleeping bags, or towels, and sketches out what the general vibe of the weekend is; if they all rise early for a communal breakfast, or stay up late and have a sing-along by the campfire.

The gracious guest, on the other hand, asks about issues specific to their visit: so if you’re allergic to pets, or would like to bring Rover with you, talk to your host.

Meal prep & cleanup

Endear yourself by offering to oversee at least one full meal. Pre-make, or at least pre-prep, to reduce water use, time spent, and cleanup required. Or offer to bring the fixing for a signature drink for the weekend that works either with or without alcohol. It’s easy to make a sparkling cranberry drink — that can be spiked with vodka after 5 p.m. — with the highly portable Soda Stream, which turns tap water into sparkling water. Bring fixings for a low-fuss snack too — a cheese and charcuterie board, your world-famous guacamole, or fresh fruit and a yogurt dip.

Plan to help with tidying up at the end of the weekend, or offer to handle at least one chore before taking off. There’s a fine line, here, of course; the thoughtful host will not casually mention at breakfast that a retaining wall needs rebuilding, and suggest guests pitch in.

Reduce waste

Go easy on bringing anything with a lot of packaging — many cottagers have to take garbage out with them or to a landfill. Try re-usable options like beeswax- coated wraps from Toronto based Etee, which now also sells sandwich and food storage bag formats, or Kliin, a machine washable cleaning cloth that’s an alternative to traditional paper towels, and which, by the way, is also made by a Canadian company.

If you are lucky enough to have a friend offer you their cottage and refuse rental payment, think about splurging on a gift they’ll get lots of use out of. Hauser has very handsome solar lanterns: they’re pricey — about $170 and up, but these beautiful, eco-friendly lights cost far, far less than the cost of rental, and might just ensure that you’re invited back.

SOURCES Crate and Barrel, SodaStream, Hauser, Etee, Kliin

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Better Living Expert: Summer Style Forecast

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Better Living Expert: Summer Style Forecast

Sunny colours, with a chance of pattern

CANADIAN SUMMERS are gone as swiftly as cake at a kid’s party, so it’s important to make the most of an outdoor area, whether it’s a big backyard or a narrow balcony.

Cape table set from EQ3. Photo courtesy of EQ3

FURNITURE—RAIN OR SHINE

A generous table is an obvious way to ground a larger space. Big box stores will have attractive models in metal, synthetic rattan, and wood in every hue. Black-and-white finishes on both wood and metal are also emerging: the uncomplicated aluminum frame and tempered-glass top on EQ3’s Cape outdoor table is a timeless example.

Good-looking, weather-resistant chairs in similar materials are equally available. Arguably the most handsome (and inarguably among the more expensive) right now is the Nodi chair—made with twisted synthetic rope—from the line Yabu Pushelberg did for Belgian design house Tribù, available on Avenue Road.

More realistic, perhaps, is acaciawood seating with woven backs from Rona’s San Paulo collection—in dining, folding and stool options. HomeSense was one of a handful of retailers that included a hanging Egg chair in summer trend vignettes; several, like theirs, were executed in elegant black-resin wicker.

Conversational seating is well suited for drinks, nibbles, and chatting. For that, fans of swivel chairs (who isn’t?) will especially like Lowe’s pretty Ellisview set.

FIRE FEATURES HOTTER THAN EVER

It’s easy to find chimenea and stand-alone units in every style, and now even tables with built-in, gas-fed boxes. Handsome wood and glass lanterns in sculptural shapes, such as those West Elm is showing, are an economical alternative, and have the advantage of being portable. Similarly, hanging lights shaped like flamingos, stars, fruit, or tiny paper lanterns, are a low investment nod to summer.

If space is tight, save some with a five-piece set from Rona’s Shanghai collection, in which wicker chairs tuck neatly under the table when not in use. Urban Barn’s Acapulco-inspired Fresno set has a small, round table and two dramatic high-backed chairs, making it suitable as a table for two, or an occasional outdoor work station.

NO-FUSS GARDENING

Low-maintenance gardens remain popular (see summer, short, above). They’re easy to create, given the vast availability of inexpensive planters and pots, such as Lowe’s sunny hammered gold planters and Ikea’s ceramic pots with creamy bands atop either pink or black bases.

Outdoor rugs have become increasingly sophisticated, both in their design and weather-resistance, as have pillows. West Elm has an exceptionally pretty line made in partnership with super-cool, Los Angeles-based creative art agency, Zoe Bios.

FEAST ON COLOUR

The table is a natural place to introduce colour and patterns, especially as there is so much choice in unbreakable dinnerware, textiles, and accessories, as well as an abundant crop of bold hues and graphic designs.

Real Canadian Superstore and President’s Choice home collection includes, for example, cool patterns and hot colours on everything from ceramic stools to towels and patio umbrellas.

For linens, consider Turkish blankets from Stray and Wander. These organic cotton, hand-loomed blankets with straightforward and subtle stripes are light-weight, ultra-absorbent, and available in several colours. The combination of beauty and practicality means they make a fine tablecloth that can, with a quick shake, serve nicely for a nap under a tree. Which, summer being so short, you’ll want to catch while you can.

SOURCES eq3.com, lowes.ca, rona.ca, westelm.ca, avenue-road.com, homesense.ca, urbanbarn.com, strayandwander.com, idea.ca, realcanadiansuperstore.ca

Vicky Sanderson

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Home Finds: Make Room for Style

HOME FINDS: TREND WATCH: Make Room for Style

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HOME FINDS: TREND WATCH: Make Room for Style

by Silvana Longo

The style tips of small-space decorating aren’t all about practicing restraint. The trick is to know when to go big and inject major style in tight quarters …

photography courtesy of HomeSense
photography courtesy of HomeSense

“Small-space living calls for multi-functional furniture,” says Tamara Robbins Griffith, HomeSense Design Expert. “A chic sofa-bed is a smart solution when it comes to overnight guests. A desk and occasional chair in the living room do double duty as extra seating and surface area for entertaining.”

Mid-Century Style SOFA BED, $399.99
Lacquered Tripod COFFEE TABLES, $79.99 and $129.99
Modern DINING CHAIR, $99.99

homesense.com

All Tucked In

When you live in a small space, you need to be clever. That’s probably why you’re looking at this bed frame with 4 spacious drawers. The BRIMNES series has several heroes that help you save space.

BRIMNES HEADBOARD in Black, $479

ikea.ca

Mastering Multi-Functional

This modern coffee table is pure functionality wrapped in great design. Hide your remotes, your magazines, your chargers and cables in the heart of the Chiva coffee table, with its integrated storage. Or raise the slim tabletop to create the perfect height for afternoon tea.

Chiva COFFEE TABLE, available in white lacquer, oak, walnut and espresso finishes, starts at $1,589, two sizes available

boconcept.com

It’s Lit

— Sil’s Pick —

Swing-arm lighting is a must-have in a small space.

Taking cues from the industrial age of the turn-of-century, this light fixture boasts simple details and ample looks to boot. With its useful extendable arm and elegant pared-down shade, this task lamp is perfectly suited for a bedroom or living room setting.

GARDEN CITY from Hudson Valley Lighting; for pricing contact Royal Lighting

Sleek and minimalist on the outside, Fairport conceals a few splendid surprises, like a full-range dimmer switch, plus a gentle swing-arm makes it an ideal bedside reading lamp.

FAIRPORT from Hudson Valley Lighting; for pricing contact Universal Lamp

Add visual interest with a cool geometric wall sconce. Clear, frosted glass in a hexagon shape with brass finished hardware.

Hex Geometric WALL SCONCE, $199

cb2.com


A little LUXURY goes a long way

Victoria + Albert adds a compact bathtub, which features a simple, sleek design, perfect for modern and contemporary bathrooms. The tub is deep and double-ended and comfortably holds one or two people. It measures 21-5/8″ in length, making it a perfect option for both urban condos or family bathrooms.

Vetralla BATHTUB, for pricing and Toronto locations

vandabaths.com

Curves Ahead

Soften those hard edges by adding seating with contemporary curves mixed with tufting, giving this mid-century-inspired sofa a casual, yet sophisticated look. Composed of solid hardwood, synthetic webbing, and high resiliency foam for form and function that lasts.

Marnie SOFA, $1,395

eltemkt.com

Window Dressing

Alendel DRAPES, Echo collection shown in Feather, for pricing contact Alendel Fabrics.

Small Space Tip: Hang them high and keep them light to maximize the light

Artistic Reflections

With pared-down, linear forms and signaturecrossed corners, this brass-clad mirror evokes the esthetic of the Arts and Crafts movement, circa 1900. The frame is tightly wrapped in brass with handwork that creates a striated effect and gives each piece distinct textural and tonal richness.

Ribbed Cross-Corner MIRROR, from $596

rh.com

All About the Base

A ground-floor opportunity to making a big impact in a small space—choose a large-sized area rug in a vibrant colour or a bold pattern (or both!) to make the room feel larger and to add some cosy comfort underfoot.

From Left to Right: Cibreo Light Blue/Silver AREA RUG: Starts at $1,165; eltemkt. com, Silk Orchid P55 Yellow AREA RUG: starts at $8,585, elte.com, Han Solo Grey/Grey AREA RUG, $9,995, elte.com.

Bar is Open

This cool storage cabinet can double as a bar with this beautiful tile-top surface. Shelves inside can be moved depending on where you need them to be.

Porto MINIBAR & STORAGE CABINET: $1,699

cb2.com

— Em’s Pick —

Emilie Simpson
Emilie Simpson

Tactile Texture

Pure Australian merino wool lends chunky texture and indulgent softness to this exquisitely woven pillow cover. Artisans hand-weave thick yarns into an array of subtle patterns, highlighting the character-rich variations that make each pillow cover unique. Rustic yet contemporary, the collection is a distinctive alchemy of modern form and enduring comfort.

Textured Merino Wool PILLOW COVER, grey, from $149

rh.com

Stow in Style

Organize, stow and conceal with this handwoven, graphic printed basket made in Senegal.

Oversized Graphic Woven BASKET, $224

westelm.com

Off The Wall

When it comes to wallcoverings in a small space, we talked to the experts, and the resounding consensus is to GO BIG.

Local wallpaper connoisseur, Maria Raco, founder of luxury designer wallpaper showroom in Toronto, NewWall House says: It seems to be a common belief that large patterns in tiny spaces tend to overwhelm a room and make it appear even smaller, when in fact, applying a wallcovering with a big, bold pattern actually energizes a tiny space.

The latest collections from NewWall House

We crossed the pond and spoke with U.K. Murals Wallpaper head of design, Catherine Jacob, and she recommends these eye-catching murals for small spaces:

muralswallpaper.co.uk

BLUE AND WHITE GRUNGE WATERCOLOUR The punches of blue and white tones in the mural, mixed with the different textures, give any wall more impact, regardless of scale. The design also acts as an optical illusion, in that it hides the corners of the room, and conceals where the wall starts and end.
JACOBSEN The large geometric shapes of the Jacobsen design work well in smaller rooms. Due to the oversize patterns, in particular the halved-circle shapes, the design outscales the wall, making it feel loftier. The mural is best styled with minimalist furniture, which allows the pattern to take centre stage.
Raco provides some helpful hints on How to pull off these large-scale patterms in a tiny abode:

  • Apply the pattern on all four walls as opposed to just a feature wall. This consistency will give the illusion of the space expanding in size.
  • If you prefer the room to have a more calming effect, choose soft colours instead.
  • Opt for texture if committing to a (big) pattern is too challenging.

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Top trend picks for 2018

Top trend picks for 2018

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Top trend picks for 2018

Drama and colour will be the hot trend in home decorating

by Jo Alcorn

I love when the new trends for the upcoming year are revealed. It’s the perfect time to update your decor and freshen up your home. This year I am seeing (and loving) all things dramatic. Bronze decor, patterned wall treatments, beautifully bold pillows and all things brass. Here is a sneak peak at the trends I see emerging this year, many of which will be incorporated into my 2018 makeover projects.


This year, expect to see big and bold patterns and more items made in Canada. That’s certainly the case for my line of product, from matching dog beds and throw pillows, to the new wallpaper line, both are following these trends. Made-in-Canada and big bold patterns. Wallpaper $179, dog bed $129.99


The on-trend hosts will have brass silverware and plates. Brass is no longer just for your decor, you will now see it in table settings, flatware glasses and more. These beauties are from Wayfair.ca: cutlery $179.99


As the bronze trend continues, expect to see splashes of bronze throughout the home: on top of mantels, on media units, in wall decor and more. Looking for the perfect bronze decor? HomeSense has you covered from lamps and clocks to bookends and artwork.  Light $79.99; bowl $19.99; InstaFood sign $16.99


Look for a mix of materials in furniture pieces this year. This gorgeous multi-function piece is from Structube and it incorporates all the trends I am seeing this coming year – a mix of wood, glass and a metal frame along with drawers, making it the perfect blend of function meets style. Table $399


Step aside stainless steel because the new kid in town is Sunset Bronze. In 2018, it’s all about statement appliances. Functional and bold, the Sunset Bronze kitchen suite from Whirlpool brings warmth to any kitchen with its rich metallic finish. This statement suite of appliances is the very set I chose for my own kitchen reno (stay tuned for that reveal in early 2018). I wanted to go big or go bold in 2018, so this set met my criteria perfect. Pricing TBD


This year I am loving all things black in the bathroom. This trend is drastically different and really packs a punch when you enter the bathroom. The inky and edgy sophistication of matte black is the go-to finish for the design-savvy homeowner looking for a dose of drama in their space. From shower heads to faucets and towel bars and hooks, these black beauties from Delta Faucet are offered in a variety of show stopping collections including the Trinsic and Ara.

Delta Trinsic contemporary floor mount faucet $1,713.25

Delta Ara Monitor 17 Series H2Okinetic tub & shower trim $466.10


In addition to black and bronze, pink is red hot this year in wall colours, accessories and accent pieces. Want to add a bit of blush to your setting? Check out the super affordable ideas from Bouclair, from side tables and throws to artwork and accessories, they’ll have you tickled pink. Table 79.99; throw: 29.99


You all know I am obsessed with white. But this year it’s time for my love affair with white to take a backseat while I introduce bright, bold and powerful colours into my designs. It started slowly in 2017, but wait and see what I have in store for 2018. I am forecasting a mix of pinks and reds — used in the same space — for a few of my upcoming makeovers. Stay tuned for some dramatic and bold, on-trend makeovers. Here is one of the colours I think will be hot in 2018, Pleasant Pink by Benjamin Moore. From $49.99 gallon


Jo Alcorn is the founder and design specialist at Whitewash & Co..


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Trend Watch: Palm Paradise

Trend Watch: Palm Paradise

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Trend Watch: Palm Paradise

by Silvana Longo

Once the playful palm prints came down the Spring/Summer Collection runways last year, it didn’t take long to see the fabulous fronds pop up everywhere in decor. Always a nod to nature, this welcome tropical touch is a happy consequence of the ever-growing Jungalow trend and Pantone’s 2017 colour pick of the year, Greenery. With summer decor being lighter and more whimsical, this is the perfect season to try a few palm leaf-inspired pieces to liven up a space. If you don’t want to go full-on jungle chic, try adding some toss cushions, or a single leaf palm print. If you are more daring, go for the wallpaper and have that exotic dream vacation feeling all year long.

Palm Tree Self-Adhesive Wallpaper

$45; 22″x48″,
$85 for 22″x96″

RockyMountainDecals.Etsy.com

Glass Jug $19.99

Glass $7.99

hm.com

Palm Print Dining Chair, $179.99

homesense.ca

Wall Art 25″x25″, $69.99

bouclair.com

Tea towel $7.99

hm.com

Brass & Enamel Palm Leaf Catchalls

Blue/Green $63.09

westelm.com

Henryka Accent Leaf Cushion, $11.97

walmart.ca

Palm Leaf Pillow 22″x22″, $90

cobistyle.com

Melamine Dinner Plate, $4.99

homesense.ca


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Budget Friendly Spring Home Updates

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Budget Friendly Spring Home Updates

By Jo Alcorn

Each year as spring approaches, I typically see a surge of homeowners wanting to spruce up their homes. There are so many easy and affordable things people can do to dramatically update their homes while keeping function, style and budget top of mind.

Consider swapping out some accessories for lighter, brighter options. I love working with white on white (all different tones/shades of white) to create a fresh, bright pallet. Flowers are mandatory too – I cannot live without flowers – and they scream spring!

Feeling the itch for a more dramatic change this spring? I’ve recently launched a new line of Jo Alcorn wall paper in patterns that are guaranteed to give your mood a lift and make you feel like you’ve made a dramatic change with a little DIY magic.

Think you have to turn off your fireplace and forget about it until fall rolls around? Think again! Dimplex has stunning units that operate with no heat; you can keep them on during the spring and summer on cool, rainy days when you want that comfy, cozy feel of a fire but without the heat. This unit that I recently styled is a new type from Dimplex called Revillusion. It can run all summer long with a no-heat option to keep a romantic, relaxing feel going strong in the warmer months

If you have an electric fire place, or even a wood burning unit, you can redecorate it to match your spring décor. HomeSense is my go-to when I want to easily change any décor with very little expense. For mantel décor in the summer months, I recommend light, airy and fun accessories.

Spring is always a great time to organize and make small changes that will add huge functionality to your home. Adding in soft close hardware and drawer organizers can sometimes make it feel like you have a brand new space. GRASS, a manufacturer of soft close drawer and cupboard systems, has a new line called Tavinea which is an interior drawer system that is modularly built so it can easily be tailored to your personal specifications. The days of the junk drawer will be limited after this addition.

If you have open shelving or glass cabinet doors, another option to update your décor is to change your glassware and plates. I love to pull these out early in the season and get them on display – they give my kitchen an instant spring feel. And I’m all for making it feel like the warmer months will be here soon! Walmart has a great selection of outdoor plates and glasses that are sure to please and fit the needs to everyone.

Spring really does inspire us to organize, air out, and freshen up, but a spot that people often overlook is the laundry room – it’s a room that receives very little attention. I assure you, if you spend a bit of time to organize it properly, you can be far more efficient when you’re in there and have the bonus of enjoying that space! I love baskets from Bouclair to hide all the bits and bobs, cleaning supplies and other things that make the household tick.

There is no easily, more stylish way to change up your living space than by adding in pillows. The more the merrier I always say! My pillow collection is fully washable (you toss the entire pillow – cover and stuffing – into the washer!) hypoallergenic and made in Canada. Jo Alcorn Collection

Spring will be here before you know it. These quick and easy updates will make your space more functional, enjoyable, and easier to live in for more than just the season to come.

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