If House & Home has anything to say about it, 2013 is all about bathroom decorating. It's now at the top of designers' lists — you may have noticed our love of statement tubs in recent issues.
For the past 30 years, PierDeco Design has been at the forefront of bathroom trends, creating state-of-the-art bathroom furniture. Modern materials and sleek designs make them tastemakers in the industry. (This blog post is sponsored by PierDeco Design.) Here are a few of our favourite new products from the company:
Acclaimed Italian industrial designer Antonio Bullo created the Day Evo Bathtub. Available in teak or cedar wood, the tub's clean, modern lines exemplify a sophisticated, Scandinavian style. The Yell Okoumè Shower Column complements the tub's minimalist look.
The multilayer wood Next Step Evo Bathtub takes the Day Evo's sharp lines and softens them, creating a warm, inviting silhouette. The wall-mounted Shift Hub offers an unobtrusive, architectural alternative to the standard sink.
Indulge in a spa-like experience at home with a sleek stainless steel shower column that features adjustable rainfall, flexible jet showerhead and a square brush handheld shower. Did we mention the AquaMassage Shower Column has a thermostatic temperature control valve? Finding the perfect temperature just got easier.
Create a dramatic moment with the Red Cube Vanity. A matching statement tub pops against a fresh grey and white room. Opt for the PD-890-S AquaMassage Shower Column to give a room a high-tech feel. The thermostatic waterfall shower column is illuminated by relaxing chromotherapy LED lights.
It's time to up the ante on bathroom design and we've definitely found some new inspiration for our next bathroom makeover. If you're about to take on a bathroom reno and want more information, have a look at PierDeco Design's full range of products at pierdeco.com or call 1-855-417-3740.
1-4. PierDeco Design
I blame Dorothy for my inordinate love of shoes. What five-year-old girl wouldn't be mesmerized by sparkly red slippers that have the power to transport you to another time and place? (I still think certain pairs of heels can do that.) I loved The Wizard of Oz as a child, and not just for Dorothy's ruby red slippers — I adored the whole magical world.
I can't wait to see the newest cinematic adaption, Oz: The Great and Powerful — I'll also see anything with James Franco in it, but I digress. I held out this past weekend to avoid opening weekend pandemonium but I'm hoping to catch it this week.
In celebration of the film, HSN has released a limited edition collection of whimsical home accessories inspired by the movie. These fun, colourful accents capture the film's spirit of adventure and fantasy.
An homage to Oz's epic journey, these throw pillows are decorated with emblems of travel like maps, birds and hot air balloons. A sprinkle of sequins adds a bit of sparkle. Use them in a children's bedroom or on a neutral sofa.
Regal birds like peacocks seem like they would be right at home in Oz. Hang these framed prints in a library or home office.
Opt for a rug reminiscent of a dusk sky or decorated with exotic peacock feathers to infuse your home with the mystical atmosphere of Oz.
As you may know by now, emerald green is the Pantone colour of the year for 2013. Here are a few emerald green accent pieces to add to your home as the spring collections start hitting the store floors:
A rug is an easy piece to introduce. I love this Climbing Leopard rug designed by Diane Von Furstenberg. It would be a great way to create a new focal point in one of your spaces.
If you like the colour of the DVF rug but you're not really into cats, the Key Shadow rug by Suzanne Sharp packs a graphic punch.
For a smaller dose of emerald in your home, these Key Emerald cushions from Avenue Road make the perfect accent.
Finally, emerald green can be perfect on a side table. Try this lamp from Arteriors.
One of the first things I saved up for when I moved into my own place was a piece of Canadian art. I had admired Cybèle Young's framed miniature sculptures at a gallery in Calgary, but they were well beyond my budget, so I was delighted when I found an affordable print by her at Toronto's Open Studio.
Runaway, by Cybèle Young.
All these years later, I still love everything about it, from the cheeky name — it's called "Runaway" — to the mysterious backstory it implies and its soft palette. I remember painting a blue square on my wall just to showcase it. (You can follow Young on Tumblr and Twitter.)
I'm still on the lookout for great art, so a couple of weekends ago, when The Artist Project was held in Toronto, I set aside a Sunday afternoon to stroll the aisles with Sarah Keenlyside, my good friend and unofficial art consultant. Over the years, Sarah has introduced me to artists like Jose Parla and United Visual Artists, and she helped produce Douglas Coupland's installation The Museum of the Rapture for Nuit Blanche in 2012. (Check out the installation here.)
The Artist Project is a juried contemporary art fair and there was lots of eye candy to be found. Here are three of my favourites from the show:
Janet Kimber, photography
This diptych from Janet's Neo-Petroglyphs series was a highlight. Janet is also an H&H photographer (she shot Storewatch with me for the current April 2013 issue), so it was fun to see another side of her work. These images capture hundreds of years of graffiti found on the walls of Kumbhalgarh Fort in India. Verdict: Graphic and gritty in the best way, they'll fascinate forever.
Ian Mackay, still life paintings
Sarah and I almost whipped out our credit cards for one of Ian's quiet still life paintings. We were both drawn to his more architectural arrangements, like the ones above, but there were also eye-catching pieces that included a single flower, pine cone or clove of garlic in the mix. Verdict: Simple arrangements and beautiful colours give these traditional still lifes a cool modern feel.
Lulu Ladrón de Guevara, mylar and acrylic on wood
It's almost unfair to show Lulu's In a Quiet Light series in a blog, because many of them are not flat — they extend outwards, as if the light they depict is three-dimensional. I was drawn to the second one, above, because it reminded me of a beam of early morning light falling across the wall just so. Verdict: Ethereal, pretty and minimalist. These would be a clever addition anywhere you want the feeling of natural light.
For more, check out Wendy Jacob's blog post on Betty Ann Jordan's roundup of standout artists.
Liz O'Brien's booth stood out as a beacon of creamy dreamy modernism in a room full of the serious brown furniture we associate with antiques shows. Yes, modernism at an antiques show — let your brain mull that over for a minute while I take you on a tour.
The booth included a delicious mix of very special things — lighting, tables, seating and accessories in brass, bronze, silk, steel and glass. Most were from the '50s to the '70s. Liz O'Brien is a bit of a superstar in the world of modern decorative arts and can be credited with educating designers about the work of people like William Haines and Karl Springer (long before those names started commanding wild prices on 1stdibs). We had a lovely chat, but entre nous, I got a little case of the shys when we spoke. I may or may not have been just a little starstruck, allegedly.
Liz O'Brien wrote the book on Samuel Marx (2012 Pointed Leaf Press), an American architect and designer whose name is not widely known but whose influence is widely felt in the design world.
This magnificent cabinet, seen at the back of O'Brien's booth above, is by Samuel Marx. It's wrapped in parchment with a silver-leafed back, glass shelves and very pretty hardware. It looks like it was designed today, but it wasn't.
I've had this photo from O'Brien's website in my favourites folder for ages. It's all Liz O'Brien all the time, and that lovely Lucite-legged table front and centre is a Samuel Marx piece.
But back to the show. These lamps caught my eye immediately. The details: "Pair of lamps with crystal ovoid base with brass details and brass dome shade. Gabriella Crespi, Italian. C. 1965." So sexy, don't you think?
Also on my favourites list was this amazing item. As it turns out, this is also by Gabriella Crespi and from the '60s. It's real coral mounted on a brass plinth with a frosted glass base that is actually lit — so it's not just an objet — it's a lamp.
Oh, and looky here, what do you spot on the table beside O'Brien in this portrait that ran in Architectural Digest? Quite fantastic.
This pair of Edward Wormley chairs circa 1955 had me conjuring a lounge scene involving a gin and tonic, a Pucci shift dress and a soundtrack of Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass.
This bench looks 100% today but is in fact a John Dickinson piece from 1968. If you look very closely you will see the yummy texture play between the raw silk upholstered frame and the suede cushion. Incredible.
And speaking of John Dickinson, thanks to Liz O'Brien I finally came face to face, or rather, face to paw with a real deal Dickinson plaster animal leg table. You've surely seen interpretations of this thing by a few modern makers, but this, my friends, is the original. The provenance of this particular table is that it comes from the collection of a photographer named Jeremiah Bragstad, who had shot Dickinson's home, a converted San Francisco firehall, for The New York Times. So cool.
Too bad I can't find that photo on the interwebs. But I did find this shot of the space, and you can spy the table right there in front of the sofa. I am immediately filled with the urge to go coat something in plaster.
Thank you Liz O'Brien!
Take a tour of this mid-century modern home for more inspiration.
1-2, 6-7, 9-11. Margot Austin
4. What is James Wearing blog
5. Liz O'Brien
8. Architectural Digest, photography by Anthony Cotsifas
12. The Visual Vamp blog, photography by John Vaughan
Like every other editor in our office, I'm feeling the love for oriental carpets. You've probably noticed them popping up in our photo shoots and stories over the last several issues. Who can resist the soft colours and ornamental pattern of a Turkish or Persian rug — even better when they're slightly faded and threadbare!
I've just purchased my first vintage rug, from the amazing Ecarpet Gallery in Montreal and I'm thrilled. The rug was brought in by Stacey Smithers for an amazing upcoming June story she produced. Luckily I sit next to her and get to see all the good stuff coming through!
I love the way designers are layering these carpets over sisal or using more than one in the same space, and I especially like that we're seeing them in unexpected rooms like the bathroom or kitchen.
My dilemma: where to put mine? (Please forgive these poorly lit last minute pictures I took at 7 a.m.).
I've recently updated my front hall with fresh paint, a new stair runner, a black banister and a teal blue door.
Art, lighting and finishing touches are still to come. Is this the spot to lay the lovely rug down? It has big impact the minute you walk through the door, feels cushy underfoot, and works well with the sisal runner. It feels special and decorative.
Or, does it belong in the kitchen? As you can see, it perfectly fits the void in my kitchen. I love the way it brings colour and cosiness to a utilitarian space. It's nice when working at the stove or sink to have something soft underfoot. But what happens when tomato sauce or red wine spills on it? Does it matter? The rug is already worn and loved!
Weigh in if you want. Maybe the answer is to buy two!
1-5. Hilary Smyth
Proprietor Angus Wilkie had, until recently, a stunning gallery space on Lexington Ave., where the windows surely bore my nose prints due to over-zealous window shopping during my past NYC visits. I was so pleased at the opportunity to get up close and personal with the extraordinary collection he brought to the show.
We also had time for a lovely chat, which was the icing on the cake for me. In addition to his incredible skill at curating antiques, Angus has been on the masthead at Elle Decor, written for Architectural Digest and wrote the book, literally, on Biedermeier. When the worlds of journalism, history and great design converge, my interest is piqued. Who wouldn't be pleased to meet the owner of this lovely home northeast of Manhattan?
I'm crazy for the decaying walls and exquisite furniture and accessories first spied in the April 2008 issue of Martha Stewart Living. He tipped me off that his NYC penthouse is coming up in an issue of Architectural Digest soon.
But back to the antiques show. The Cove Landing booth consisted of two walls of handsome shelving and a centre arrangement of smaller scale furniture pieces. Stepping in was like entering a cabinet of curiosities.
I loved how the backs of the cabinets were lined in marbleized paper. The splatter pattern calls to mind a technique used to make early pottery, which seemed apropos. In this vignette I covet the box on the left in the middle shelf. Here's the description: "An early 19th century English brass mounted ebony and whalebone inlaid mahogany tea caddy with recessed handle and edge binding. SOLD." (But not to me.)
I also loved this shelf filled with interesting and important wood bits and bobs. Feast your eyes. Notice the stepped plinth used for display — I respect a clever styling trick.
And lastly this creepy gem — a sculpted bronze (I think) snake nestled and pinned into a marble base. It's just the thing to put on a coffee table on top of a few books, don't you think?
My other favourite exhibitor at the show was Liz O'Brien. Check back next time for a tour of some favourites from her booth.
For more vintage finds, check out this video tour of The Arthur in Toronto.
Spending days sourcing new products sometimes pays off, especially when I accidentally stumble upon a gem, like this Etsy shop EarthSeaWarrior. Filled with quirky and colourful decorative bits, this shop is like a candy store for the eclectic decorator. I must admit, the retro lamps are what really caught my eye. Their multicoloured cords are hand-dyed to achieve the right vibrancy, contrasting nicely with the muted colouring of the vintage lamps. Here's a small sample of their playful fixtures:
I'd love to have a lamp where the cord doesn't need to be hidden behind a desk!
Keep an eye out in Free People stores, where EarthSeaWarrior can be found lighting the dressing rooms.
For more, visit EarthSeaWarrior's Etsy shop online.
In the magazine world, we get to view the fresh spring/summer collections while snow is still blowing around outdoors. I attended the HomeSense preview this past week, and spotted lots of items worth watching out for. In summary: colour, colour and more colour. It was so refreshing to browse a room full of robin's egg blue, mustard yellow and burnt orange. Some of these items are even in stores already, so be sure to check out your local HomeSense this weekend. Pick up one colourful, spring-y accessory, and the warm weather will feel that much closer. Here's a roundup of my favourite finds:
This muted robin's egg blue is a great way to bring subtle colour into a bedroom without braving a new wall colour or bedding. And the drawers are lined with this pretty Moroccan-inspired print. I wish I had stumbled upon this before wallpapering my own dresser drawers. What a chore that was. Two-drawer dresser, $200.
For a bold hit of colour, try a mustard-yellow console for the front hall or dining room. And check out the detailing along the front and legs! Console table, $250.
Two of these bright blue side tables would add a pop of colour to a ho-hum bedroom. Lacquered side table, $150.
This bench is small enough to squeeze into a condo entryway, and conceals shoes and storage boxes underneath. I love the Greek-inspired detailing at the sides. Fretwork bench with cushion, $250.
You could use this small bar cart for extra storage in the kitchen of a tiny rental apartment, then roll it out and top it with drinks and snacks while entertaining. It's also available in white. Lacquered faux bamboo bar cart, $280.
Speaking of orange, check out the fun, juice colour on this affordable sofa with a classic mid-century modern shape. Too bright for your formal living room? Use it in a basement media room or bedroom. Orange tufted sofa, $700.
This pale yellow version would surely help you beat the winter blahs. Yellow tufted sofa, $800.
I'm a sucker for anything teal, and I wanted to roll this rug up and throw it over my shoulder. I love the hints of green in it as well. Rug, $180.
Update your lighting this spring with a couple of simple glass pendants. Glass ball pendant, $70 each.
Need a place to hang your hat (or spring umbrellas)? This metal tree coat rack plays in with the nature-inspired themes we're seeing everywhere this year. Coat rack, $130.
Adorable. They have such amazing throw pillows at HomeSense — some are even down-filled.
The guava-coloured coverlet on the left would look beautiful against a charcoal grey accent wall. And for $70 each, you can afford to switch it again come fall. Coverlets, $70 each.
See more Top Trends Of 2013 in our photo gallery.
1-13. Gwen McAuley
There is a special genius in staging the Interior Design Show in January. Winter has worn us down, the walls are closing in and there's a desperate need for the new. IDS gives you license to dream and makes you feel excited about possibilities. So in an homage to Vogue editor Diana Vreeland, who wrote a column entitled "Why Not" and then followed it by gems such as "Use a gigantic shell instead of a bucket to ice your champagne," here are some things from IDS that inspired me:
Why not... put Jason Wu in the bath? When he's not dressing the First Lady he turns his hand to new bathroom accessories with a fashion-y spin for Brizo.
Why not... cover one wall of your bath with a dramatic slab of book-matched marble? I love this wall by Olympia Tile + Stone.
Why not... walk on a work of art with an artisanal carpet, like this one from Modern Weave?
Why not... put down a stable-inspired herringbone floor in the kitchen, like this black version from Erth Coverings?
Why not... design your own custom wallpaper? It's a commitment that's likened to a tattoo — a personal statement that's completely yours. I love this Paris map from Canadian company Rollout.
Why not... create a mural of coloured pencils in your office, instead of the ubiquitous inspiration board? This one was constructed by blackLAB Architects.
Why not... use a fresh cabinet to display your treasures? Winnipeg furniture manufacturer Bühler had some gorgeous cabinets at IDS.
Why not... upholster chairs in a boho water-colour batik print? This cotton-linen blend from Pearson Textiles is fresh and timeless.
For more on IDS, read Chloe Berge's blog post about the opening night party.