It gets old fast, but even weeding dandelions has a special charm for the first few weeks of spring. Try Garant’s new weeder to remove the entire root without damaging the lawn. ($40 at Rona and other retailers)
DwellStudio is now available at three of The Bay’s flagship stores nationwide — Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. Founder and designer, Canadian Christiane Lemieux, launched DwellStudio in 1999, fusing modern design, a playful approach to colour and old-world details.
Her bold geometrics, stripes and abstract florals became a design signature for the Ottawa native, who earned her design chops at the prestigious Parsons School of Design in New York after graduating from Queen’s University.
Most of the DwellStudio line will be available in stores as well as select styles of DwellStudio furniture. Customers can also special order the complete furniture line through The Bay.
One of my favourite features at the Interior Design Show is Studio North and Prototype, a jury-chosen display of works from exemplary and emerging Canadian designers. This year, it celebrates its tenth anniversary, with works by some 30 designers, examples of which are included below.
The founding curator of Studio North was Rachel Gotlieb, now senior curator at the Gardiner Museum, a gem of a museum that too few Torontonians know about. (Fast Fact: The city's second most under-appreciated museum is the the Textile Museum, also home to a terrifc biannual fabric sale/fundraiser. P.S. If you're rich, skip it please and leave the bargains for the little people, because we deserve some beauty too. Instead, you may shop directly - with your designer of course - at Primavera, which I understand donates a lot of the fabric sold)
But I digress. Below, a few more reasons to get thee to the IDS, runing next week at the Convention Centre.
Atelier 688’s rope lights (think I like this, but I also find it a bit threatening, somehow) They did pillows with maps printed on parachute silk last year that I liked a lot (see pic below). And yes, I too noted around this point the prevalence of matte or unfinished wood, and rope. #ifyoutracktrends
ROLLOUT’s Wanderlust wallpaper (these folks do amazing papers, so I just have to add another pic of a paper I adore even though I'm not sure it will be on dispay at the show.)
Mushaboom’s Stroll wallcoverings (brilliant and beautiful, no?)
New rug design by Kate Thornley Hall One more pic added (see reasoning for Rollout - above)
Brothers Dressler’s Cross Dining Table and Peg Stool (always interested to know what this duo is doing.)
Dang. Just realized I missed Jeff Goodman's Open House last week. That's too bad. His glass work is among the most beautiful stuff I've seen this year. Even if I can't afford it. But, really, you don't have to own something to appreciate it, no, and I wanted to get over there. Also heard that Goodman's work will turn up in the new Bisha development that signed Lenny Kravitz up for design gig. Looks at the pretty pics above and tell me these pieces are not exquisite.
Makers of one of my favourite green cleaning products, IQ, have launched a contest called Who cares about this Planet? that challenges Canadians to come up with environmentally sustainable projects that will make a difference in their communities. They’re asking potential winners to create and upload a video of their idea to iQ’s Facebook page. Ten finalists will be selected to share their videos across social networks, and viewers will vote for their favorite project. Each vote will count towards $1 that will be awarded to the grand prize-winner (up to $5,000) that can be used to kick-start the project. The video with the highest number of votes wins.
Why do I like iQ? Two reasons. The corn-derived surfactants do a great job cleaning, and the clever packaging reduces plastic waste. After buying your first bottle from the range, you can then buy small, capsule-sized refills of the cleaner, which you simply mix with tap water before using. Brilliant.
Since launching earlier this year, HomeSav.com has been quickly picking up speed, rapidly attracting both consumer and media attention. The members-only shopping club offers brand-name home décor, furniture and accessories at up to 80 per cent off, with new sales starting every day at 10 a.m. Items, (such as the Crescent Chair above) are available for three days in limited quantities. To become a member, shoppers must register. It's easy to do - and free.
Since learning about HomeSav, I have frequently found items on it I'd like to include in my Hot Home Products column. I tend not to, though, because I feel sure the stuff will be gone by the time I go to print.
Now HomeSav is launching a Designers Picks series; monthly sales featuring products and brands selected by well-known interior designers, artists, and experts. Each will focus on a specific theme or room. The first event begins Thursday, August 25th, and will be curated by Karl Lohnes. Metro newspaper’s national décor columnist, and Home and Decor expert for CTV’s Canada AM.
Karl has lovely taste, and I’m excited to see what he’s chosen for his signature look. And I'm dying to know who else has signed up for the series. I'll keep you posted.
Maybe it’s because I am cultural laggard, or because I live in Ford "Stop the Gravy Train" Nation, a quiet and leafy suburb-esque are in the north end of town, but until quite recently I had not even heard of artist Thrush Holmes (at right). Having now done so, and seen some of his work, I put myself squarely in the “big fan” column.
Keep your eyes on yourhome.ca for an upcoming mini-interview with Holmes. But since I also think that reading about art — especially when it’s written by some know-nothing décor columnist, can be tedious and because, after all, one picture is worth 1,000 words, here’s a little gallery of Holmes’ work.
I told my husband I wanted the piece titled Plutonium Ode for Christmas. He agreed, until he checked out the prices for these works and suggested instead a nice set of tea towels. Unless, of course, I wanted to sell one of our four kids. Which, actually, I don't - a fact that may come as a surprise to other parents of teenagers.
4 PLAY, MIXED MEDIA WITH RESIN ON PANEL, 96 X 60 INCHES, 2011
PLUTONIUM ODE, OIL AND SPRAY PAINT ON CANVAS, 120 X 96 INCHES, 2011
F*** EVERYTHING, OIL ON CANVAS, 84 X 60 INCHES, 2009
BIGGEST IN THE HOOD, OIL AND SPRAY PAINT ON CANVAS, 96 X 120 INCHES, 2010
PIECE OF S*** HOUSE, OIL AND SPRAY PAINT ON PANEL, 84 X 120 INCHES, 2008
EVERY OLD VERSE, MIXED MEDIA WITH NEON LIGHTS ON STEEL PANEL, 84 X 96 INCHES, 2008
The efficient laundry room requires more than just good appliances. Perhaps that’s why Whirlpool enlisted the help of Clare Kumar, professional organizer, to design what it calls an "intuitive” laundry room (see example above).
Here are a few tips from Kumar:
Create an efficient layout with enough counter space to have a prep station for laundry products, and to serve as a folding surface when needed.
Use under-counter space to store hampers, and add shelves or baskets for supplies
Whirlpool Duet laundry pair (see pic below) also has some features that will save you time and trouble, including a “sixth sense” technology that measures the size of each load to determine how much water and detergent is needed, a built-in fan that tumbles wet clothing for up to 16 hours, and an anti-vibration/noise feature. The set comes in white, red and silver. Prices start at about $2,500.
If you love hand-made and artisanal goods, block out some time this Saturday afternoon (June 4) between 1 and 6 p.m. to get down to the west elm store at 109 Atlantic Avenue in Liberty Village. (Unless you're off to a log-rolling contest - see below). That’s when the Brooklyn-based retailer, a fave haunt of lovers of modern and nature-inspired home decor, will share its space with Etsy vendors selling handmade or vintage items.
The afternoon is one of a series of We Heart Handmade Art events that west elm (part of the Williams Sonoma family) is hosting in their stores across North America. In doing so, the company is hoping to introduce customers to new categories of handmade goods that go beyond the home furnishings they traditionally have focused on — and to show some love to local artisans. Expect a fun flea market vibe on Saturday, with a local DJ and food from the nearby Mildred’s Temple Kitchen
The west elm/Etsy connection is not new; west elm has been propping with Etsy products for years, and is featuring Etsy artists in their catalogue and on their website. Check out their favourite Etsy artists here.
I love pretty, witty stationery, so I was drawn to the stuff from Toronto-based Deadweight, shown above.
See you down there.
P.S. Overheard someone onTwitter say today that a good handbag (leather allbeit) would cost at least $350. Crikey, that's a lot of money to a poor schmo like me, I said to myself. So I was glad to see the literary, affordable bags shown below (pic - Hannah Heyes) from Fieldguided will be up for grabs this weekend. Thunder in my heart indeed. After a long and stormy spring, how appropriate.
P.P.S. Either of these would make great gifts. When's your stepdaughter's birthday? Mine has hers this weekend.
If you took science in high school, you may remember hearing of the Coriolis effect, named after the French physicist who in 1835 described how the shape of rotating objects appears to change. That's what inspired Thomas Heatherwick, the ridiculously inventive designer who straddles the world of art, architecture and design and whose London-based team tackles everything from a monastery in Sussex to a rethink of London’s iconic buses. It’s all pretty spectacular, but I fixated on the glass bridge at King’s Cross in London I saw on the website. Why, pray tell, can't we have public design like that in Toronto? Is it because we're headed by Mayor Stop the Gravy Train™, who probably thinks that such stuff is pinko frippery?
Heatherwick’s Spun Chair was shown at the Milan Furniture Fair in carbon steel and bronzed brass finishes. It’s described as “a functional chair constituted by a single profile rotated through 360 degrees which transforms the domestic seat into a beautifully rendered spinning top.” Put more simply: when upright, it’s a piece of sculpture, but when seated it in, a body can swivel in a complete circle. Wheeee! A marvellous idea, but I think I’d go easy on the cocktails if I was sitting in it.
Limited editions will be sold in London at the tres trendy Haunch of Venison which is, I could not help but notice, showing an exhibit of photographs — many new — from filmmaker Wim Wenders, who directed the film classic (it's on my personal top ten list) Wings of Desire. Sadly I can never think of it now without being reminded of the shudderingly bad remake done with, God help me, Nicholas Cage and Meg Ryan called City of Angels.
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