Filed under: EVENT
by Elisa Krovblit
Yes, we do love our moms. For all they do, for all they teach us, and for always being there – we love them each and every day. Seems fair that one day a year we shower her with love, attention, affection – and gifts!
Don’t know what to get mom? Skip the annual box of chocolates and go right for something she will really enjoy. Here are some of HD&R’s favourite finds for mom:
Freshen up mom’s walls with a great frame. Finish it in sentimental form with a photo of you and mom.
IKEA Kullsta and Kvill Frames $6.99-8.99 ikea.ca
How long has she had the same boring glassware? With a new tray, a stay-cold-and-tastey pitcher and some funky glassware, mom will treat herself to a refreshment more often.
Now go make her breakfast in bed!
CB2: Bright double old fashioned glassware $6.95; Acrylic bed tray $89.95; Ceylon pitcher $29.95 cb2.com
Flowers and potted plants a0re a Mother’s Day cliché. Nothing wrong with a cliché – as long as you add your own personal twist. Try arranging your fabulous flora in one of these:
Homesense: Crown planters in various sizes $14.99-$16.99; Aqua glass vase $16.99 homesense.ca
As lovely as they are comfortable, toss pillows are always a great way to make a statement. And this Spring’s statement has wings!
Show her you care, in sterling, 14 karat, platinum and princess-cut.
Tiffany & Co.: Mother’s Day Collection $85-$10,500 tiffany.ca
A rug, why didn’t you ever think of it? A great way to add a little whimsy, this year’s favourite patterns include chevron, stripes and ikat.
Dwell Studio: Rug collection from 2′X3′ to 9′X13′ $98-$1,610 dwellstudio.com
May 8, 2013
By Silvana Longo
Four days of incessant rain, strong 90 km/hour winds and power outages spread across 45,000 homes across the GTA. But just before the drizzle, storm prepping and the wrath of hurricane Sandy, the last day we saw the sun (it was only Thursday!) was glorious — it was mild and warm and I happily attended a designers’ event at the brand new showroom of Appliance Canada in the Castlefield district. The established designer hood and haven since it seems everything along that Caledonia stretch beckons you to update and beautify every room in your house.
When I walked inside and toured the new Appliance Canada showroom, I assure you that the merchandise is in sync with all the magical, high design standards of its new location. Personally, I never thought there was anything sexy about the word appliance … until now. The aesthetic details are stunning and the sheer volume of brands is overwhelming: Thermador, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Viking, GE Monogram, Gaggenau, Electrolux. GE Café, GE Profile, Frigidaire Professional, Bosch, Samsung and LG, to name a few. Not to mention the amazing technological advances these appliances have built right into them that inevitably bring out your inner chef, elevating average kitchens to superior standing. They are beautiful, smart and offer the ultimate in energy efficiency.
Who doesn’t love a cobalt kitchen?
At the event, every kitchen in the showroom seemed to offer a different type of culinary experience. As international as the city we live in, the food choices were many and although I couldn’t possibly try everything that evening had to offer, whatever I did sample was delicious. In the end, the proof is in the pudding and these kitchen delectables delivered.
The Pad Thai was my absolute favourite
Red Velvet Cupcakes
These salmon skewers came highly recommended and did not disappoint. Plus they cooked in only one minute in the GE Monogram Speed Oven
John Oulahan, Senior Manager Appliance Canada
Adam Zeretsky, GM
Peter Fallico, Design TV host, HGTV
Evelyn Eshun, Designer, Eventful PR president and party planner extraordinaire, Sharyn Smith centre. Stylist Lisa Canning on right.
I appreciate great design as much as I appreciate great food…needless to say, I was happy to attend this kitchen party like no other. And happy the sun came out for it. It was an impeccably executed event and the showroom is a must-see when you’re ready to upgrade any of the appliances in your home. You can visit the new showroom at 1380 Castlefield Avenue in the Design Living building. Store hours are: Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
October 30, 2012
By Elisa Krovblit
Chef Lynn Crawford scoops and drizzles chocolate, demonstrating the ceran cooktop’s perfect scorch-free melt capabilities.
Some of us make great meals. Some of us make reservations. Our abilities in the kitchen largely depend on how much we enjoy cooking and, more importantly, how much time we have – both to shop and to cook.
But having the right tools in the kitchen can really help. Especially when it comes to appliances.
I recently had the opportunity to preview KitchenAid’s new launch of appliances. KitchenAid spokesperson Chef Lynn Crawford hosted the event, and even gave a cooking demonstration using the cutting edge features of the new lines.
Chef Lynn showed off the ceran cooktops. Electric!! Not gas, but an electric cooktop. And it was the first time that I’d seen an electric stove that could compete – even surpass gas – with excellent heat control, fast heat, true temperature control.
Chef Lynn demonstrated no-fail melted chocolate on the ceran cook-top electric burner. It can be set to a 90-watt low for a scorch-free hour-long sustained melt. She even led the novices in the group through creating her signature Ruby Watchco Cheddar Cheese Biscuits. Perfectly baked to a golden crisp – each of the three oven racks holding a full tray of a dozen biscuits – she proved that these appliances meet the standards of the pros but will even turn out spectacular results for the average cook in the crowd.
Ruby Watchco’s signature Cheddar Cheese Biscuits.
October 29, 2012
By Silvana Longo
You have a vision, but you don’t have the sufficient funds to actualize it…sound familiar? Fortunately, for former French bistro La Société manager, Darcy MacDonnell, the adage “where there is will, there is a way,” rings true thanks to a hot upcycling trend and the talented team from the Canadian show Junk Raiders who transform today’s junk into tomorrow’s dreams.
The dream: After years of managing the hottest restaurants in town, Darcy wanted to branch out and open his own place. He wanted a distinctive and inviting restaurant where local describes both the menu and the building blocks of the actual restaurant. He was inspired by the Ontario farm of his childhood and committed his life savings to creating the west-end Toronto restaurant nestled in the heart of the ever-evolving Junction neighbourhood.
The way: With a budget of $5,000 and a four-week timeline, the Junk Raiders’ cast set out to fulfill their client’s vision by scavenging the city streets for interesting castoffs they could repurpose as building materials.
HD&R visited the Farmhouse Tavern yesterday afternoon to see the restaurant that opened just this past April and to chat with the dream team that brought it to life. Contractor Geoff Woodmansey , professional salvager Gordie Wornoff, and designer Michelle Mawby.
From left to right: Michelle, Gordie and Geoff
Between the tight timeline and minuscule budget, the team was bursting at the seams recounting their various tales of how they brought this project to fruition. Designer Michelle Mawby showed us the floor that they opened up only to discover a big hole. This was the creative solution which was in keeping with the budget and the local theme… and let’s face it, it keeps Ontario beautiful.
Professional salvager Gordie Wornoff sees abandoned items as his next treasure and the Farmhouse Tavern is chock full of them. Like this remnant from an old Hamilton bus that encases the cash register. Every piece has history and a previous life far from the one it fulfills today. I guess the doors signal it’s time to pay your fare.
Everything you see in the restaurant, from the repurposed garage doors as windows, the barn boards that divide the two areas of the restaurant to the former water tank light fixtures — every piece has a tale to tell. See how everything comes together next Monday, October 15 at 9 pm on the Discovery Channel. The making of the Farmhouse Tavern is the third season debut of the Canadian show and it sounds like it will be an interesting one. Between Darcy MacDonnell’s sky-high standards and the team’s bargain basement’s budget to make it happen, a dream comes to life. That’s always a happy ending.
October 10, 2012
By Silvana Longo
I used to avidly watch Jane Lockhart on her design show, Colour Confidential, in awe of her bold colour choices where she magically transformed a room from lifeless to life-affirming. She introduced me to the concept of painting a ceiling a colour other than white, which seemed revolutionary at the time, (thanks Jane!). I always applauded her courage in introducing colour into so many neutral homes, devoid of personality, mine included. Personally, I have always gravitated to colour in my wardrobe, but I had never dared to adopt my love for chroma in my home. It was encouraging to watch Jane hold people’s hands as they conquered their fear of colour in decor and cross that barrier. Now after 20 years in the biz, she has branched out and taken on a new frontier by creating her very own furniture line simply called, Jane by Jane Lockhart.
Let me assure you– there is nothing plain Jane about this Canadian-made, mid-priced furniture line which she designed with “comfort” and “style” in mind. After years of getting custom furniture made for clients through bench builders, she wanted to find a way to speed up the process and offer an affordable price point. So she teamed up with Statum Design Inc, a 35-year furniture manufacturer, located just on the border of 416 and 905, to create quality and locally made pieces. She launched in January this year to retailers and debuted her eight furniture collections to designers at a very civilized breakfast (despite it taking place on a Monday morning) at the warehouse where it all comes to life. We got a taste of her design aesthetic as we sat comfortably in her Jane chairs and couches and sipped coffee and OJ while she spoke about the line and how it all came to fruition. It took about a year from concept to production. She presented the 42 colour palettes to choose from, assuring us that all 240 fabrics she personally selected are all from North American mills. Going local has endless benefits as this green initiative has actualized Jane’s vision to cut waiting times and establish an accessible price point for custom furniture. Instead of the typical eight to 12 weeks, wait time is less than half of that with a mere three to four weeks. Plus there is a comfort in knowing the valued pieces in your home are made here in Canada.
When it comes to upholstery, you won’t find a pure cotton fabric in the mix as Jane points out that it simply doesn’t last. Instead she opted for natural and synthetic fibres for durability and wear. The designs have beautiful high-end details such as tufting, nail heads, French seams and piping. The cushions filling are a combination of down and poly-dacron which ensure comfort and softness in seating. Who knew that the density and compression of foam make all the difference! The technical part of furniture-making is interesting but as decor lovers, I know you want to see the finished product. Here’s a peek at a few of the pieces from Jane’s stunning collection that I have already started envisioning in my next home makeover.
Price points: Sofas: $1,400-$1,800 Chairs: $700 Ottomans: $500-$700
My personal favourite (and where I sat):
The Donna Chair
A statement piece, the Donna Chair is made for those who love to socialize, with its arm-free design it allows for free, easy movement.
The Downey Chair’s wide back, comfortable seat and high arms makes it the perfect piece to curl up with a good book and relax in
- The Granger Sofa in this warm, bright yellow tone makes a statement in any space
Jane Lockhart at Statum
August 14, 2012
By Silvana Longo
Last night, HD&R dined in southern Italy. No, wait a minute — we were at a fabulous media event dinner at the fine food Italian emporium Alimento on King West. I know living well means different things to different people but for an Italo-phile, food-loving person like me, all I can say is that Alimento is a little piece of heaven in downtown Toronto. Here’s why.
It’s a grocery store filled with authentic Italian products, “a cathedral of cheese” is how it was described to us last night, in fact 90 per cent of the cheeses are imported from Italy, (the rest are made in-house), a variety of olives, different breads and deli meats. They had me at prosciutto.
It’s also a bakery with well-known Italian baked goodies and other delicious ones that aren’t as well diffused. It’s a full-service restaurant and cafe’ (Bar Mozza) that offers authentic Italian cuisine, in fact tried-and-true recipes from the owners’ family — the Contardi family who also are the owners of the six Grande Cheese shops in and around the GTA. With this King West opening, Marco, Joe, Albert Jr., and Anthony Contardi are filling a much-needed gap as it doesn’t get this authentically Italian until you’re in the inner city’s suburbs or the 905. Thank you for a wonderful evening and authentically Italian food experience. I am missing Italy a lot this summer as I am not making it over unfortunately but I know exactly where to go to get my food fix and alleviate my nostalgia somewhat. Mille grazie e salute!
Here’s a look at the space and some of the evening’s delectables…
Fagiolini with pistachios and shavings of parmigiano
July 25, 2012