By Silvana Longo
Yesterday afternoon, I popped into the HomeSense showroom to have a first look at the fall 2012 and holiday collection. How do I begin to count the ways that I love this store? Any true home décor enthusiast will rave about their HomeSense shopping experiences of finding the on-trend looks at a fraction of the cost. This collection will not disappoint as it is as beautiful as it is budget-friendly.
With the vast selection to choose from, the themes went from old Hollywood glam with furniture and accents in shiny metallics, eight by ten black and white photos of classic movie stars like Marilyn (Monroe) and Audrey (Hepburn) in mirrored frames to a cosy bedroom with bedding that merges masculine with feminine. Checks combined with shots of fuchsia and lavender anyone?
The library complete with leather tufted sofa, a bookcase with ladder (only $499!) stocked with beautiful books from Rizzoli made the room very inviting where I just wanted to linger. The two-tone distressed leather chair with Missoni-ish back was probably one of my faves.
Bold colours, patterns, faux and cowhide stools, (some with rustic wood legs others more polished black), there is something for everyone.
Right now, I am soaking up this fabulous summer weather enjoying my patio furniture and am quite content to keep the décor and accessories in my home light and casual. I am sure once the days become shorter and the humidex starts to lighten up, HomeSense will be one of my go-to places to add those autumn touches that warm up an interior when single digits are the best we can hope for and words like wind chill are reintroduced into our daily lives. Just not yet.
July 12, 2012
By Glen Peloso
How fantastic that spring has arrived and we are on the precipice of summer and all of its delights. It is without a doubt that we all are longing to get outside and enjoy the weather. I can remember when every backyard had a picnic table and perhaps an umbrella if the household was a little more well off. We just put the picnic table under a tree and were shaded that way.
Now it seems that the backyard isn’t complete unless it has a full complement of furniture that essentially mirrors the rooms and furnishings of our homes. I have said in the past that it makes good sense to have the eating area closest to the house to facilitate the movement of food to the table, to have a family room halfway down the garden which may have a couple of outdoor love seats, or a sectional sofa and a coffee table and perhaps in the back of the garden, a single chair or perhaps two so that one can sit on their own with a book or paper and a glass of wine. That is likely the best way to make use of the outdoor space unless you have a pool in which case you will also have some space for loungers to soak in the sun. Back in the era of picnic tables, there was no discussion of sun screen which seems to permeate the outdoor experience now, and there was little to change except for perhaps :give the old’ picnic table a coat of paint or stain.
Now that we are enjoying the yard in a whole new way, we also have the need to be able to change up the look and feel year by year. It doesn’t mean that you need to rush out and buy a whole new set of furnishings, which could cost you from several hundreds of dollars to many thousands. You have the option of being able to augment what you already have. On a practical level, you may want to consider adding heating. There are many firepits available that may look as though they are a small campfire even though they are gas driven, but there are also many outdoor fireplaces that can be hung on the fence or much more modern glass cylinders that may have an architectural twisted flame. If you don’t want to have an open flame, there are many people who purchase overhead heat sources so that they are able to extend the season in the great outdoors. There are propane-fuelled units as well as infrared heaters and both can work well in terms of keeping the space warm enough to enjoy for a month on both ends of the summer. In our climate, those additional months can really make a difference.
“This year’s interesting trend colours are found in pinks, yellow golds, navy to azure blues and most certainly orange.”
The next thing you may want to adjust year by year is the colours that are used to accent the area. This year’s interesting trend colours are found in pinks, yellow golds, navy to azure blues and most certainly orange. If you are going to add some throw pillows to the space and may want to change them again next year, then consider getting some outdoor pillow inserts and covering them with an outdoor fabric. Check with your fabric store to select the right kinds of fabrics, resistant to moisture and mildew and mould. You can choose to change the fabrics on the sofa and chair cushions, however that can be slightly more complex and expensive. If you do choose to make a change in that area, then I would consider staying with a neutral palette like grey or cream and look for fabrics that also have a strong pattern. If you are looking to be more fashion-forward then you may want to consider complex fabrics that have an international appeal. Often with this look, one is perfectly certain that the fabrics were purchased on a vacation to destinations like Europe, or a variety of African countries. The “folk” feel makes the fabrics on trend. The safest choice may be a tone-on-tone patterned grey or a black and white combination that would allow those fabrics to work for presumably a number of years to come.
One of the elements that I have always loved in terms of the feeling and elegance it offers the yard, is white or off-white soft drapers. These can work to reduce the amount of bugs that may be present for an outdoor meal; they can soften the amount of light and perhaps reduce your exposure to the sun. I really love the idea of draperies that surround decks or covered areas, even if the draperies are hung around the posts and tied back. The feeling of being in an exotic island, looking over the sea as the breeze billows the drapes is appealing even if you are in the backyard on a warm evening.
If you are hoping to leave things essentially as they are but still want to inject some colour and detail, then I would consider colourful elements like candles, placemats and napkins or even colourful acrylic stemware to add a pop of excitement to the table. We certainly are no longer thinking about faux finishes and dad’s old chair–and it’s always nice to get outside in style.
Glen Peloso, design editor at Home Décor and Renovations and principal designer of Glen Peloso Interiors, has been designing spaces for commercial, corporate and residential clients for more than 15 years. You’ll recognize Glen as the host of such television design shows as Restaurant Makeover, Take This House & Sell It and Renovate My Wardrobe, to name a few, as well as from speaking engagements at home shows across Canada. glenpelosointeriors.com
April 23, 2012
By Lisa Canning
Art provides the opportunity to express your style in a very personal way. While art can often get put on the backburner after the dust of a renovation has settled, the personalized story that art tells about a homeowner shouldn’t be forgotten. Today there are many avenues in which art can be purchased, so making your personal mark on your home might be easier – and less expensive – than you think.
The first place I go when selecting art for a client is a traditional gallery. In Toronto, Canvas and Art Interiors are my local favourites. The staff is trained to assist you in picking just the right piece for you and your space. And best of all, a gallery will often allow you to borrow the pieces for a time period to “test drive” in your home. As the art on your walls can really change the colour scheme and mood of a room, being able to see it in the context of the rest of your space makes for a stress-free investment. A visit to a gallery is also a great way to find new emerging artists, and support their work at more introductory prices.
PICTURED ABOVE Add a personal touch to your walls by using your own photographs in a custom painting like this one by Toronto encaustic artist, Becky Simpson of RLS Studios
Additionally, I love to invest in artists by commissioning custom pieces. When you commission a piece, you can work with an artist to get exactly what you want, and this has yielded gorgeous outcomes for many of my clients’ spaces. Artist Becky Simpson of RLS Studios will take a client’s photograph, enlarge it to their desired size, and through a wax transfer technique called encaustic painting, create beautiful, textured, large-scale works. The texture created through the dripping wax is truly unique. I also love working with New Brunswick-based abstract artist Matt LeBlanc, who will take my client’s paint and furniture colours and create an abstract piece customized to their existing décor. He ships them to me in Toronto and it is always a fun surprise to see what he has come up with. Commissioning a custom piece of art is a great way to support the local art community and to ensure you have a truly one-of-a-kind piece on your walls.
Lastly, I love using personal photographs to create art. This can often be an inexpensive approach when conscious of budget. If a digital image is large enough, I will take it to a local print shop, enlarge the photo to poster size, and place it in a modern frame. With digital software it is also easy to manipulate an image to change the colours, increase the contrast, or crop for dramatic emphasis. Also, Internet sources such as canvasstock.com will take your digital file and transfer it onto a stretched canvas, giving you a gallery look without the gallery price tag.
Art doesn’t have to be complicated. It just has to be “you.” With the multitude of ways that art can be purchased, whether on foot or online, the perfect piece for your space is waiting to be discovered.
Lisa Canning is a designer and owner of Lisa Canning Interiors.
April 17, 2012
By Silvana Longo
Yesterday, HD&R was at the unveiling of world-renowned artist and designer Karim Rashid’s new furniture line at BoConcept—aptly named the Ottawa Collection—a tribute to his early years as a design student at Carlton University where he graduated 30 years ago.
Being there at the bursting-at-the-seams press event at the Adelaide East store was very much like watching the adage in action: Build it and they will come.
Unsurprisingly, Karim’s talent and success is an incredible source of pride for us Canadians…combine that with his affable personality…it kept us riveted as he presented his nature-inspired, uniquely designed dining room set complete with table, chairs, sideboard and cabinet—we happily withstood the crowds, the heat and lingered probably longer than we thought we would because of Karim and because he built something as unique as the nation he comes from.
Karim thought it was appropriate that his tour ended in his hometown of Toronto as it marked the end of a two-year journey from his initial meeting with BoConcept at the Milan trade show (Salone Internazionale del Mobile di Milano) where the prospect of a collaboration between the prolific designer and the Danish-based global furniture chain was first broached.
The mutual passion for beautiful design with a high level of functionality made the partnership an inevitable one. “I understand the culture of the company, the DNA of Danish design of reconfigurable pieces,” resonates with the designer, to the point where he began the sketching and inspiration for the Ottawa Collection only two weeks after their meeting on a flight from Ottawa to NYC.
The similar landscapes between Denmark and Ottawa was the starting point for this design project, and the exercise turned out to be a reconnection with the artist’s roots.
The event itself was a heart-warming, special meeting with a remarkable designer who seems to have genuine rock star status! Swarmed by his many fans in the industry and press, I decided this (photo on left) was my best bet for a photo op.
On my way out, the real Karim happily posed with me after he got a glimpse (and quite the chuckle) of me mirroring his pose of his life-size photo in the store on my cell phone. Oh Canada, oh Karim! What a great way to end a great day.
April 5, 2012
by Elisa Krovblit
I had an OMG moment this morning. It came in the form of a website. Good-bye Pintrest, HELLOOOOO Shopcastr!
Shopcastr.com fulfills that need to see beautiful things – and then go out and BUY THEM. Its brilliance is that all items are from local GTA shops. The site features a wide range of cool, with a huge selection of fabulous. You’ll find everything from décor and design to fashion and accessories, even music, baby boutique and kitsch – there’s a bit of it all, and it’s all totally local.
Spy a pretty must-have piece? Click to find out where to buy. You get the price, contact info and more about the store. You can click the LOVE button (shouldn’t life have more LOVE buttons?) and share your feelings about your faves. The LOVE button will also add the item to your list so that you can think about it, revisit it and finally give in to temptation and go out and bring it on home!
February 29, 2012
by Silvana Longo
On February 3, HD&R attended the first Canadian showroom opening of French luxury furniture brand, Gautier, at their Adelaide and Jarvis location in the heart of Toronto’s home design and décor area.
Amidst the aroma of fresh brewed coffee, croissants and tasty amuse-bouches at the press breakfast, charming old-world French music played in the background contrasting the modern beauty of the Gautier furniture brand. An unmistakable signature style that includes adjectives like sleek, elegant, contemporary and above all GREEN.
Like the vibrant green Gautier logo, all furniture is manufactured from sustainable forests. Eco-friendliness, sensual design and their five-year warranty make owning one of their carefully crafted furniture pieces worth the investment. This half-century old, family-run business started in Nantes, France, and now has three manufacturing sites there with more than 650 partners throughout the world. We are thrilled they are finally here in Toronto! Here’s a peek into the Gautier world.
One-person easychair and armrest and corner and two-person easychair
Enjoy customized, flexible and state-of-the-art living. Gautier’s stunning designs match the adaptability of their collections.
Who wouldn’t want to cozy up in this oasis of a living room?
Sétis coffee table
How great is this coffee table? I was drawn to the two secret drawers where you can
tuck away any clutter build-up when guests come over or just use them as extra storage.
Thanks to their highly flexible modular pieces and choice of coordinating feet, you can create your own sofa to suit your taste and needs.
How sleek is this ottoman as the finishing touch to your custom Gautier sofa?
February 6, 2012