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Home Finds - Is 2021 your year to get organized?

Home Finds

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Home Finds

Our Editor picks her favourite home finds this season.

Is 2021 your year to get organized? It can be overwhelming to think about whole home organization. So, take it one room at a time. Since many of us are working from home these days, why not start with your office space? Create an environment that is streamlined and inspiring to work in every day.

Gold wall STORAGE UNIT $39. | Blue WALL CLOCK $29. Grey wash WOOD DESK with built-in outlets. $299. | GOLD FRAMED LETTERBOARD $24. | Grey tufted OTTOMAN $99. | RATTAN STORAGE BASKET $29.99. Velvet office chair. $99. | Grey DESK LAMP. $39. | FRAMED ART PRINT $149. homesense.ca

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WFH

Even if you don’t have a dedicated room to work in, you can still have a functioning space that gets the job done.

1. Pratt READING/DESK LAMP in brass by Globe Electric. $129. bedbathandbeyond.ca | 2. Cubist multi-shelf WALL DISPLAY by Umbra. $119. amazon.ca | 3. Fantol DESK in oak. $1,099. article.com | 4. Nordmarke WIRELESS CHARGER. $19. ikea.ca | 5. WEEKLY PLANNER cali coast. $16. indigo.ca | 6. Meow & you MUG. $14. indigo.ca | 7. Soundlink around-ear WIRELESS HEADPHONES II in white by Bose. $269. bose.ca | 8. Felson TASK CHAIR by Langley Street in flat white. $314. wayfair.ca | 9. ACRYLIC CASE with three large rows. $39. muji.ca

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Book worm

Need a little inspiration to meet the organization goals you set for 2021? Here are five books to spark the expert organizer in you!

1. BEAUTIFULLY ORGANIZED: A Guide To Function And Style In Your Home by Nikki Boyd. $23. amazon.ca | 2. THE DECLUTTER CHALLENGE: A Guided Journal For Getting Your Home Organized In 30 Quick Steps by Cassandra Aarssen. $20. amazon.ca | 3. THE HOME EDIT LIFE: The No-Guilt Guide To Owning What You Want And Organizing Everything by Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin. $38. indigo.ca | 4. JOY AT WORK: Organizing Your Professional Life by Marie Kondo, Scott Sonenshein. $30. indigo.ca | 5. ORGANIZING: The Manual For Bringing Order To Your Life, Home & Routines by Martha Stewart. $35. amazon.ca

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Bird watching

Bird motifs are trending this season

1. Flight block print BIRD PILLOW with down-alternative insert. $65. cb2.ca | 2. Miles MARBLE BOWL. $52. cb2.ca | 3. Metal BIRD PLANTER. $44. crateandbarrel.ca | 4. Pjatteryd GOLDEN BIRD PICTURE. $19. ikea.ca | 5. Red BIRD SCULPTURES with metal feet. $29 for set of two. structube.com | 6. Ibis TABLE LAMP. $945. elte.com

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Nifty storage

Keep your clothes and bed linens secretly stored in the drawers of this bed. Danielle queen channel headboard with upholstered storage base in Van Gogh fog. $3,098. crateandbarrel.ca

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Fresh air

Breathe clean air indoors with one of these air purifiers. When buying an air purifier, look for one that contains a HEPA filter – these filters are effective at removing ultra-fine particles such as dust and dander.

1. PURE HUMIDITY + COOL PURIFIER. $999. dysoncanada.ca | 2. AIR – AIR PURIFIER. $1,199. molekule.com | 3. INTENSE PURE AIR AUTO PURIFIER with HEPA filtration by Rowenta. $459. bedbathandbeyond.ca

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Listen up!

Do you want to do your part for the environment while listening to your favourite music? Sounds good, right? The Nest Audio is covered in sustainable fabric and is made from 70 per cent recycled plastic.

NEST AUDIO. $130. store.google.ca

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Create a gallery wall

Have you ever wanted to create a gallery wall but don’t know where to start? It can take a lot of time to choose the right images and organize the layout just right. Desenio has a great line of gallery wall posters in a variety of colours, decor styles and finishes to suit your distinct style. Just select the gallery wall that you love, and voila the images are already organized for you according to size and style. desenio.com

Living Room: Monochromatic dreams gallery wall
Living Room: Monochromatic dreams gallery wall

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Stylish storage solutions

Keep a multitude of items (kid’s toys, shoes, magazines, mail, skincare) organized with these options.

1. BAMBOO STORAGE BASKET. $34. homesense.ca | 2. Fjallbo SHELF UNIT in black. $69. ikea.ca | 3. Marie Kondo CERAMIC BULK CANISTERs in cloud white. $25-$34. containerstore.com | 4. Mod SMALL LOCKER. $749. cb2.ca | 5. Large WIRE BASKET in gold. $59. hm.com | 6. Hardage MAGAZINE RACK by Mercury Row. $393. wayfair.ca

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Japandi style

A marriage of simple Japanese aesthetic and modern Scandinavian design, the Japandi style brings together the best of these two design worlds. The look is minimal, functional and inviting. Think neutral colour schemes and non-fussy decor. This style started gaining popularity in 2020, and Pinterest (and its 400 million users) predicts this design trend will be big this year, as well. We couldn’t agree more! Here are some of our favourite items to achieve that Japandi look at home.

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Face time

Line-drawn portrait decor items are the perfect touch of whimsy for any space.

1. Line drawn PILLOW COVER face by Oui. $34. indigo.ca | 2. Faces multicolour ART PRINT. $15. indigo.ca | 3. PLANT POT with graphic design in beige. $19. hm.com | 4. Ceramic SCULPTURE. $34. hm.com


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Store in style

Top ten coffee tables with storage

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Top ten coffee tables with storage

Choose a coffee table with storage to keep your space looking spick and span.

MID-CENTURY ART DISPLAY round coffee table in walnut. $674.

westelm.ca

MODERN coffee table with storage and magazine holder in white faux marble/gold. $179.

walmart.ca

MIKA coffee table in brown with ceramic top. $329.

structube.com

LEONA coffee table. $1,613.

potterybarn.ca

VECTOR coffee table in in walnut. $189.

structube.com

MID-CENTURY STORAGE coffee table in pebble. $749.

westelm.ca

VITRI coffee table in walnut. $459.

article.com

WINSLET wood and marble coffee table. $1,049.

crateandbarrel.ca

VITTSJO nesting tables in black-brown/glass. $79. for set of two.

ikea.ca

Carlton modern SCANDINAVIAN SIDE STORAGE coffee table in white lacquer. $900.

homedepot.ca


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Home Finds: Home, etc.

Embrace hosting intimate groups

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Embrace hosting intimate groups

While large parties may be on hold for now, don’t let that stop you from creating an inviting space for guests. It’s time to embrace hosting intimate groups in your social bubble. Here’s all the inspiration you need.

A great entertaining idea is to set up different food and drink stations around your home to encourage mingling and avoid overcrowding one space. We love how this super-sized, mixed greenery sets the tone for this buffet-style tablescape.

Around the table

One of the easiest ways to create a beautiful tablescape is to choose a theme. This year, look within and let your personal style guide your tabletop choices.

DINNER SET in two-tone cream by Safdie & Co.

$47.97

walmart.ca

STRIMMIG PLATE in stoneware pink.

$4.49

ikea.ca

Leila SALAD PLATE.

$68

potterybarn.ca

Crisp matte white SQUARE DINNERWARE.

$4.95 to $41.80

cb2.ca

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Pop & Fizz

Whether you prefer coupes, flutes or stemless, coloured champagne glasses are a fresh, modern update.

1 | ORDERS UP ROSY GLOW champagne glasses by Kate Spade New York. $125. thebay.com

2 | SWIRL EDGE CHAMPAGNE FLUTE in blue by Mikasa. $88.99 (set of four). bedbathandbeyond.ca

3 | STEMLESS CHAMPAGNE FLUTES in moss green by Oui. $39.50 (set of four). indigo.ca

4 | TWILL CHAMPAGNE FLUTES in pink by Godinger. $53.99 (set of four). bedbathandbeyond.ca

5 | COUPE IN AMBER by Oui. $44.50 (set of four). indigo.ca

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Champagne for every budget

Enjoying some bubbly doesn’t have to break the bank, consider these options for every budget.

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Apps & dessert

If you are planning to keep entertaining more low-key this season, these two books will provide endless food for thought (pun intended!)

1 | BOOK: DESSERT PERSON: RECIPES AND GUIDANCE FOR BAKING WITH CONFIDENCE by Claire Saffitz. $36.12. indigo.ca

2 | 6-piece herbiflora CHEESE MARKERS SET by Anthropologie Home. thebay.com

3 | WALDEN PRINTED NAPKIN. $74.95 (set of four). williams-sonoma.ca

4| WALNUT APPETIZER FORKS, set of four. $29.95. crateandbarrel.ca

5 | GLASS DESSERT PLATE with raised design. $9.90. zarahome.ca

6 | BOOK: THAT CHEESE PLATE WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE by Marissa Mullen. $37. indigo.ca

7 | Byhring mixed wood APPETIZER PLATES, set of four. $36.95. crateandbarrel.com

8 | Glass acacia WOOD SERVING BOARD WITH DOME by Libbey Glass. $127.99. bedbathandbeyond.ca

9 | Quincy composite agate ROUND CHEESE BOARD by Anthropologie Home. $88. thebay.com

10 | Agate CHEESE KNIVES SET. $85. decorredefined.com

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Creme de la creme

Cream, almond butter, beige – whatever creamy hue suits you, there are a variety of lifestyle options to incorporate into your home.

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Fired up!

These days, candleholders not only provide a cosy atmosphere, they also act as unique objet d’art, as well.

1 | CERAMIC CANDLESTICK. $19.99. hm.com

2 | Avant BRASS CANDLEHOLDER in small. $27.99. eltemkt.com

3 | Romy METAL CANDLE HOLDER. $12. structube.com

4 | USHAPE CERAMIC TAPER CANDLE HOLDER in white speckle by Paddywax. $19.50. indigo.ca

5 | 2 Pack TAPER CANDLE HOLDER in gold metal by DSDECOR. $21.96. amazon.ca

6 | WEBBED CANDLEHOLDER in black. $145. elte.com

7 | Bloom botanica TWOPIECE CANDLEHOLDER SET by Georg Jensen. $179. thebay.com


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Get inspired for your bathroom renovation

Get inspired for your bathroom renovation

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Get inspired for your bathroom renovation

Thinking about a bathroom renovation but feeling uninspired? You’ve come to the right place! R+D has sourced the latest trends to get you motivated to start planning.

Classic twist – The traditional black and white colour combination is making a big return to bathrooms this year. Paired with mixed metals and a bold floor, this classic combo gets modernized for a fresh, new feel.

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1. Three-light LED VANITY LIGHT in black matte finish and flat opal glass. $149. lowes.ca

2. Severine 12-light sputnik modern linear CHANDELIER by Wrought Studio. $389.99. wayfair.ca

3. SPATIAL THREELIGHT BATH LIGHT by Progress Lighting. $264. homedepot.ca

4. Sloane SIXLIGHT SEMIFLUSH LIGHT in black by Golden Lighting. $659. lowes.ca

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1. WALL MIRROR WITH LEDGE in walnut. $279. kroft.co

2. PERCH ROUND MIRROR with shelf. $399. cb2.ca

3. JACOB MIRROR SERIES with shelf by H-Hudson Home. $129.97. walmart.ca

4. COIN MIRROR. $59.99. eq3.com

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1. SQUARE SINK with washstand console table in Carrara marble with metal legs in satin brass by Kingston Brass. $1,534. homedepot.ca

2. CARERRA OVAL VESSEL SINK in white marble by Novatto. $824. rona.ca

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1. Century Star white NATURAL STONE MOSAIC FLOOR AND WALL TILE by Jeffrey Court. $15.99 each. homedepot.ca

2. Grigio parquet POLISHED MARBLE MOSAICS by Enigma. $19.98 each. homedepot.ca

3. Bohemia Miranda NATURAL FINISH TILE. $9.95/sq. ft. ciot.com

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1. SYNERGY ART PRINT by Annie Axtell. $220. simons.ca

2. VANA FRAMED WALL ART. $79. structube.com

3. HEAD OF FLOWERS art print by DiviArtsStudio. $65.95 for 18-by-24-in. etsy.ca

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1. O SINGLE HOLE FAUCET in rose gold by THG Paris. $3,495. gingers.com

2. Bathroom ceiling RAINFALL SHOWER FAUCET SYSTEM mixer set in brushed rose gold. $473.98. amazon.ca

3. Wall mount TOILET PAPER HOLDER in satin rose gold. $199.99. wayfair.ca

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1. X Base khaki BATH MAT. $39.95. cb2.ca

2. Calm SOAKING SALTS by Herbivore. $22.50. socialitebeauty.ca

3. HANGER RACK in metal and wood. $5.99. hm.com

4. SMARRA BOX with lid in natural. $19.99. ikea.ca

5. Porcelain HEART DISH. $6.96-$7.96. eltemkt.com

6. Karla copper BATH TOWEL. $34.95. cb2.ca

7. Washed LINEN BATHROBE in powder beige from H&M. $59.99. hm.com

8. PEDESTAL PLANT POT in dark beige. $19.99. hm.com


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Blissful bunkie

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Blissful bunkie

Words & Photography by Karen Kirk

“As I strolled the lush property for the first time of what would become my new home, I instantly fell in love with a small outbuilding nestled in the woodlands at the base of the Niagara Escarpment behind the house,” says Glass. “Its construction was solid, the size perfect and its romantic lure undeniable. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it and transform it into whatever I wanted it to be.”

After three years spent designing, renovating and decorating the original ’60s-era house, it was time for Jackie to set her sights on a fun little project – creating a garden studio – a personal oasis situated off the beaten track in the back of her verdant woodland garden.

The rustic 10’x10′ bunkie featuring lovely, solid-wood salvaged doors and mullioned windows, was about to be revived and transformed into a welcoming and functional outdoor workspace. With paint from her local Benjamin Moore and a fun Ikea shopping spree, Jackie’s cosy little garden studio came to life in brilliant colour one hot summer’s day in July.

A splash of paint

Situated in a shady spot on the property, Jackie’s fresh colour palette was inspired by the surrounding flora. She chose fun vibrant colours for both the exterior and interior – fuchsia, aqua, ocean blue – on a background of mid-to-dark grey tones and white. “During an intense summer heat wave, I gave every surface a fresh coat of paint, including the porch extension and vaulted ceiling,” says Glass. “The bay window seat is my favourite detail in the garden shed.” Colour, cushions and suspended window vases breathe new life into this unexpected architectural detail. An eye-popping, bright fuchsia painted-wood floor is a bold choice but if not here, there’s no better place to freely express your personality.

“With paint from her local Benjamin Moore and a fun Ikea shopping spree, Jackie’s cosy little garden studio came to life in brilliant colour one hot summer’s day in July.”

Patio pleasures

A six-foot extension off the full-width existing porch offers a spot to catch the fresh Niagara Escarpment breezes as well as the early morning and end-of-day sunlight. The natural light is essential when working on fabric and paint samples for my clients and to catch a few rays with a steamy cup of coffee or a happy-hour cocktail. Heaven!

Shedding light

It was important to Jackie that she maintained a rustic cabin in the woods feel to the garden studio so she decided not to run power to it. “If I ever need power, I can always hook it up to the generator outside my house. I typically work here during the day when there’s plenty of natural light but if it’s a gloomy day or in the evening, when I need light, for safety purposes, I use solar candle light in my lanterns and a rechargeable bulb from Ikea in my bamboo chandelier,” says Glass.

Create a budget-friendly modern-rustic look

To keep her little project on-budget (house renos cost money!), Jackie chose affordable, stylish and durable furnishings that appealed to the purpose and style she wanted for her garden studio. Powder-coated aluminum and glass storage cabinets to prevent rodents from making themselves at home, natural-wood furniture and accessories to provide a modern rustic look and add function to the space were the perfect choice. A kitchen island cum desk features shelves on one side and an overhang for adding stools for clients and friends. Folding stools help maximize space and can be stored efficiently against the wall when not in use. A wood ladder serves as a planter, sample storage and magazine rack. Everything has a purpose and a place.

After a long winter in a constant state of anticipation, the thought of getting back outdoors to enjoy the summer months with our family and friends is palpable. Whether you purchase a kit or restore an existing structure, a garden shed is the perfect project to kickstart your summer and release your inner designer, gardener or builder. Make it your own and you’ll enjoy it for years to come.

SOURCES

DESIGNED by Jackie Glass FURNISHINGS, LIGHTING, RUG AND ACCESSORIES, TOSTHULT RECHARGEABLE BULB: Ikea PORCH CHAIR CUSHIONS: HomeSense HANGING BASKETS: Hofland FAUX PLANTS: Maclaw PAINT: Floor: Tulip 2000-30; Interior: Chantilly Lace OC-65; Exterior: Iron Mountain 2134-30; Accents: Egyptian Green 2043-40, Caribbean Blue Water 2055-30; Deck: Whale Gray 2134-40

Jackie Glass, Principal Designer for her firm Jackie Glass Inc. with over 25 years of experience in the design industry. A former Editor of Reno & Decor magazine, you’ll also find Jackie sharing her design projects as a regular guest expert on Cityline. Follow Jackie Glass on Instagram @jackieglassinc and Twitter @jackieglasscity

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Eternal Spring

Floral motifs in home decor predicted for spring in RENO & DECOR’s Trend Watch

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Floral motifs in home decor predicted for spring in RENO & DECOR’s Trend Watch

Just like we count on seeing the first tulips in our garden emerge as a sure sign of the arrival of spring, floral motifs seem to sprout every year around this time in fashion and decor as well. We covered the oversized, tropical-inspired blooms trend five years ago here on the trend page but there has been a shift in the type of floral print we are seeing. From large-scale, edgy-looking flowers to small, delicate ones that look like they took root in the ’80s – this is not your grandmother’s tribute to the dated floral theme though; mixed with modern and traditional pieces, the minute petals breathe new life into a space.

Maria Raco, founder of exclusive designer wallpaper showroom NewWall, talks about the current take on the sought-after springtime trend. “The oversized floral trend had its shining moment a few years ago but the current trend is definitely smaller, very real-looking and bursting with colour,” says Raco. She affirms the popular posies reflect our incessant need to bring the beauty of the outdoors into our interiors. “Flowers represent beauty and installing a floral wallpaper is the perfect way to achieving this in your home.”

Of course, seeing the delicate blossoms after a Canadian winter evoke feelings of hope and happiness as we anticipate imminent real-time outdoors enjoying nature’s beauty first-hand. The flowers may be smaller and echo another period in time but they keep us in an eternal spring frame of mind.

1 Anthropologie Home Floral Stoneware VASE, $68; thebay.com

2 Kate Space New York Protective Hard-shell Floral Galaxy S10 Plus CASE, $54.99; thebay.com

3 JÄTTELILJA DUVET COVER AND PILLOWCASES, white, floral-patterned, Full/Queen, $79.99; ikea.ca

4 Floral A-Line MAXI DRESS, $24.99; marshalls.com

5 KitchenAid 5-qt. Floral CERAMIC BOWL, $119.99; thebay.com

6 Vale Floral PLACEMAT, $16.95; crateandbarrel.ca

7 Villeroy & Boch Petite Fleur Floral Porcelain SALAD PLATE, $25.59; thebay.com

8 Rosetta Verdigris, $395 per roll; newwall.com

9 Majorelle Azure, $395 per roll; newwall.com

10 Large Floral 34″ SUITCASE from Herschel Supply Co, $259.99; thebay.com


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Trend watch 2020 – Pantone Colour of the Year

Trend watch 2020 – Pantone Colour of the Year

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Trend watch 2020 – Pantone Colour of the Year

With 2020 marking the 20th anniversary of colour authority, Pantone, choosing the colour of the year, the pressure was on to define and set the tone for a new decade. “We are living in a time that requires trust and faith. It is this kind of constancy and confidence that is expressed by PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue, a solid and dependable blue hue we can always rely on,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute.

Interesting how the company started the tradition at the dawn of this millennium with Cerulean Blue, the colour of the sky on a serene, crystal clear day connoting restful, peaceful and relaxing times. An antidote, if you will, to calm the uncertainty of the new century and the Y2K scare that predominated the period.

It seems we need the same type of reassurance as we embark upon this century’s version of the roaring ’20s (let’s hope it ends better than that one did!). Imprinted in our psyches as a restful colour, Classic Blue brings a sense of peace to the human spirit, offering refuge. It also aids concentration and brings laser-like clarity, re-centering our thoughts.

After two decades of interpreting the colour culture of the time, Pantone remains loyal to the much-loved blue family, encouraging the human race in uncertain times. It is somewhat poetic that a clear daytime sky blue inaugurated the century, and 20 years later, Classic Blue depicts the colour of the sky at day’s end — dusk — a time of day when we process the day’s events and anticipate what the evening hours will bring. As far as decorating with this universal favourite shade of blue, the options are endless…from large furniture pieces, like a supple velvet sofa to pops of the versatile colour on walls, fixtures, dishware and bedding. The sky is the limit…literally.

1 Coco ARMCHAIR, $1,419.99; maisoncorbeil.com

2 Napoleonic Blue CHALK PAINT by Annie Sloan, starts at $15.95 for a 120 ml tin; anniesloan.com

3 Tertial WORK LAMP, $14.99; ikea.com

4 Mai Blue Floral BOWL 9.5″, $29.95; crateandbarrel.ca

5 Set of two minimalist ESPRESSO CUPS AND SAUCERS, blueberry, $50; lecreuset.ca

6 Blue Stripe Round PLATTER, $39.95; crateandbarrel. ca

7 Organic Luxe Fibrosoft TOWELS, midnight $12 – $129; westelm.ca

8 Dusk Classic Blue Paint Brush Stroke Texture WALLPAPER MURAL from $4.91 per square foot; muralswallpaper.com

9 Single-lever FAUCET, Vola of Denmark, blue $1,135; gingers.com

10 Gurli CUSHION COVER, $4.99; ikea.com


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Big Style, Small Spaces

Transform an empty space into something fabulous

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Transform an empty space into something fabulous

When I was tasked with designing the Kingsway Village Square suites, a stunning new eight-storey luxury rental building in Etobicoke by Dunpar Homes, I knew I wanted to optimize the square footage as much as I could.

Although the specific suites I was asked to design are some of the smaller ones in the building, that doesn’t mean I had to scrimp on style or functionality. In fact, with the right eye and employing smart strategies, I was able to transform each unit into something spectacular and spacious.

Whether you’re downsizing from a home into a suite, or you’re looking for inventive ways to transform an existing room or small space, these tips are some of my best-laid plans.

Paint your walls white

The effect of colour in a home can be huge, and it plays a big part in how you dress a small space. Just like fashion, it’s a rather simple rule of thumb: Lighter colours will make you or the room look more prominent, whereas darker colours will make you or the room appear smaller.

With the Kingsway Village Square units, I kept the main living areas a beautiful neutral white – my constant, go-to colour – to give the feeling of freshness, airiness, and space. If I were to paint those walls dark, say a navy blue or anything more saturated, you’d feel a bit crowded in, and that’s not going to help make the space feel roomy. Plus, that leaves very little room to switch things up in my decor: A white palette on the walls gives me the freedom and flexibility to change my furnishings around if I so desire. The same can’t be said if I have to work with a different colour.

If you are a fan of colour, don’t feel like you have to reject it entirely, either. Use it elsewhere in your home, such as a powder room or a bedroom. Both could work really well, especially as a feature wall, or use it in your artwork or soft finishes, such as pillows, throws, and blankets.

Don’t fight with your furniture

When I walk into a room, I want my eye to wander around the entire space and not get stuck on the particular furniture I have in the area. So I used legs on the furniture. Elte Markets, a more affordable sister brand of Elte, has some fantastic pieces this season, most of which I used to furnish the model suites at Kingsway Village Square. I wanted people to walk into the suite where your eye is tricked into seeing through and under everything, because every piece is propped by some legs. No furniture is flush and heavy on the floor, each is “lifted” to create good flow and harmony in each room. There’s no heavy, massive couch that dominates the living room and goes down to the floor with a skirt. No, thank you! Each of my bedside tables in the bedroom have legs, the chairs have legs, everything has legs. It’s a small trick, but one that I promise will yield the most significant impact. Your room will instantly feel larger because of it.

Keep your overall colour palette neutral, nix all those acccessories

Whether in the kitchen, dining room or bedroom, I always steer clear of too much clutter as well as too bold colour choices, unless I’m playing around with the soft furnishings. Again, the lighter you go, and the less stuff you have, the more open your room will feel. I’m not a minimalist by any means, but I do think there is something to be said for having a few, choice accessories in a room as opposed to bombarding it with every one of your favourite knick-knacks. My general rule of thumb is always, for every one thing you put out, put something away.

Keep calm and carry on

I wanted to keep the kitchen as neutral as possible so it could blend seamlessly into the overall design and feel of the space, so I removed all the hardware and handles from all the cabinets. I wanted lovely, clean lines and with handles. You don’t get that, all you get is busyness. To me, it doesn’t give the impression of an inviting space. Now, I’m no modernist, but there’s something about this look that inspires the exact feeling I want: Calmness.

The same sentiment applies for the bedroom: I opted for mesh roller blinds (you could go either white or black) because the fabrication is very effervescent. They frame and balance the room well, so it isn’t too busy, and your eye isn’t drawn to fussy curtains. The black-bronze curtain rods and silver grommets help to keep the look elegant, while also not weighing down the space.

Pump up your colour with soft finishes and furnishings

For bigger pieces, whether it is a couch, bed frame or dining table, I work with lighter fabrics and lighter shades. However, one area I do play with colour is in my soft finishes and furnishings, such as artwork, duvet covers, pillows, throw blankets, accessories, and even big coffee table books. This is where you can have some fun, and it also doesn’t cost a lot. If the mood strikes where I want to switch up my space, I can do it with my soft furnishings quite easily. Williams Sonoma, IKEA, and Pottery Barn all have beautiful selections.

Lisa Rogers is the exclusive interior designer for Dunpar Homes.

Lisa has shared her style and design expertise on popular television programs, such as Canadian Living TV, House & Home TV and The Shopping Channel.

Lisa is one of the most familiar faces on CityTV’s Cityline as a regular guest expert for fashion and image, health and wellness and interior design.


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That’s Entertainment! Comedy club-themed bedroom makeover

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That’s Entertainment! Comedy club-themed bedroom makeover

Photography By Larry Arnal

I’ve never considered the mandatory criteria for a well-designed home to include the trendiest sofa, perfectly tailored drapery treatments, or the most seasonally stylish accent pillows. It’s also never meant over-indulging the budget on ultra-luxe items to the point where the homeowners are afraid to peel the plastic wrap off the new lampshades, or actually put their feet up on the new footstool for fear of ruining the perfectly curated space. For me, if a home doesn’t feel good, function well, and act as an extension of the dweller’s personality, it doesn’t matter how great it looks!

Tried-and-True Design Formula

My formula for creating a well-designed home has always been quite simple:

Equal parts functionality, personalized creativity, and affordable quality.

Over the years I’ve worked with countless clients to achieve this balance, and create unique spaces that can truly be lived in and loved. BUT, nothing could have prepared me for the challenges I faced with my most recent client. He was demanding… he had little care or consideration for function… and he had a completely unrealistic budget and timeline. “He” was my eight-year-old son, Everett!

Growing Up Is Fun

Everett had requested a room redo for quite some time, and wanted to transform his “hand-me- down” nursery into a “cool-dude” space that reflected what he wants to be when he grows up… a stand-up comedian!

He specifically asked for a “Comedy Club” room, complete with a brick wall, stand mic and stool, and a desk to “sit and write his jokes.” Esthetics were much more important to him than function, and of all the items on his demanding wish list, he noted that an actual bed was a low priority!

Not Just For Laughs

Although I typically loathe designing overly “themed” rooms, I agreed to take on the challenge of creating a space that blended his humorous personality with functional design solutions (including a bed), all on a limited DIY budget.

I started by sourcing a faux-brick vinyl wallpaper that I installed myself using a DIY-friendly DIF wallpaper application kit, and for under $150, I was able to create an affordable feature wall that set the tone for the comedy club design.

When Inspiration Strikes

I then removed the original panelled closet doors and replaced them with a set of flat bi-folds that I scored at the Habitat Restore for $25, and with a quick coat of RustOleum’s spray Chalkboard paint, they were transformed into a giant creative canvas for doodles and one-liners. A perfect pairing of fun and function!

HE SPECIFICALLY ASKED FOR A “COMEDY CLUB” ROOM COMPLETE WITH A BRICK WALL, STAND MIC AND STOOL, AND A DESK TO “SIT AND WRITE HIS JOKES.”

Space & Budget Friendly

Everett specifically asked for a “big kid” desk, but I didn’t want to overcrowd the room with another freestanding piece of furniture, so I created a simple DIY waterfall desk using stock lumber, with a coat of Varathane stain that fit right over his new dresser. It was a stylish and affordable way to unify two pieces of furniture in one and saved on space.

Over his desk, I crafted a “Think Bubble” message board by using a jigsaw to cut the shape out of a $4 wood handy panel. I then basecoated the board with Chalked Paint in “linen white,” outlined the shape with a black Testors paint pen, and then topcoated the surface with RustOleum’s Clear Dry Erase paint to create a cute and quirky spot for Everett to jot down his creative little quips.

Function First

The final DIY dash of function that I added to the space was a set of super affordable shelves using galvanized pipes and fittings, and pine boards cut to size at my local hardware store. After washing the pipes with a degreasing cleaner, I primed all metal surfaces with RustOleum’s “Cold Galvanized Compound” meant for galvanized metal, and then top-coated them with Universal Metallic spray paint in “flat soft iron.” The pine was stained with a rich “Kona” colour to match the desk, and the shelves became the perfect place to display fun, comedy themed accessories, including a collection of inexpensive frames from Ikea, painted with colourful Painter’s Touch spray paint. This project ended up being so simple and cost-effective that I whipped up a petite bench for under the window to match.

As challenging as my client and criteria may have been for this project, it was so rewarding to be able to create a space that not only put the FUN into functional, but also perfectly exemplified my formula for a well-designed room that my son can enjoy and be proud of.

A self-proclaimed DIY ninja, Leigh-Ann believes that great design has little to do with how much money you spend, but rather how creative you can be with your budget. As an expert on CityTV’s Cityline, Leigh-Ann embraces every opportunity to spark creativity and instill confidence in others who strive to “DO IT YOURSELF.” For more information, visit huelala.com @leighannallaire

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Shopping the planet, ancient routes bring fresh design

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Shopping the planet, ancient routes bring fresh design

As far back as 200 BC, the fabled Silk Road carried coveted silks, richly-patterned carpets, worked metal, fine porcelains and ceramics from deep within China, all the way to the Roman Empire. Think of it as an ancient form of Wayfair, with longer delivery times.

Two millennia later, independent design boutiques connected to a worldwide marketplace make sourcing unique treasures for the home easier, and a lot faster.

A World Of Character

“Being independent gives us the freedom to find all kinds of elements that add layers of personality to a space and give people a feeling that there is a design story,” says Pamela Arora, owner of Turquoise Palace, which sells global design to both designers and residential clients.

Many products come from India, where Arora and co-owner, Tanya Sharma, have family connections.

Traditional weaving techniques meet modern sensibility at Thirty-Six Knots.

Responsible Luxury

With independence also comes the ability to choose one’s own suppliers, and to insist they share a commitment to good labour conditions and sustainable materials. “We work with co-ops that employ stay-at-home moms, we work with local artisans and entrepreneurs,” says Sharma. “But we have a list of criteria for people we work with that we don’t deviate from.”

“Tanya and I decided a long time ago that we only wanted to be involved in responsible luxury,” adds Arora.

Finally, independence gives them the freedom to flex their creative muscles through design: they’re currently working on a collection of pillows based on the wedding veils of their mothers. Turquoise Palace products are available in select stores across the country.

Artisanal Artistry

Hopson Grace, a pretty little store in midtown Toronto that ships across the country, also offers decor gems from all over, such as sculptural, deliberately irregular pieces from Italian ceramic artist Rina Menardi — handcrafted in her studio outside Venice.

Treasures from the modern-day trade route: Rina Menardi ceramics

Casa Cubista, owned by British-born designer Arren Williams and his husband David Pimentel (who grew up in an Azorean-Canadian family of craftspeople,) has expanded quickly, and has now added to its ceramic and textile line, a collection of handmade rugs available through Renwil. Casa Cubista products are available in Toronto at Saudade Toronto, located in Little Portugal, and at decor boutiques around the world.

Several Casa Cubista rugs are made with fabric reclaimed from the fashion industry.

Contemporary, versatile designs like these are helping handcrafted goods shed an often undeserved reputation for lacking in sophistication. Modern design and old-world craft come together masterfully, for example, in the carpets sold at Thirty-Six Knots, located in mid-town Toronto, (they also sell decor and furniture). Made from wool and silk in India, the designs mix traditional techniques with inventive, fresh patterns.

A marked improvement on the Silk Road delivery times, a custom design for a hand-tufted carpet can typically take 90 days, while a hand-knotted design could require up to a year.

“The reason hand-knotted takes so long is we typically use what is called 14- by 14- knots per square inch,” he explains. With some carpets, that can mean one and a half million hand-tied knots.

Tasselled jacquard pillows from Turquoise Palace blend old techniques with fresh trends

Global Decor Favoured

Mass market chains are increasingly making global connections: West Elm collaborates with local artisans in spots like New Delhi and the Philippines, while Ikea’s Överallt collection paired designers from five African countries with an in-house designer to create furniture, tableware, textiles, and totes. Hurry – it’s only in stores until the end of September.

Ikea’s colourful Överallt line.

Why is global decor resonating so well with homeowners?

“We’re gravitating to the past for stability and a sense of history,” suggests Sharma. “At the same time, we’re moving away from sparse interiors, and toward colour. Decor from around the world, artisanal crafts, they deliver that.”

SOURCES hopsongrace.com, westelm.ca, ikea.ca, thirtysixknots.com, turquoisepalace.com, renwil.com

Vicky Sanderson

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