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Decorating Finds

Sometimes when we're putting an issue together, great stuff gets left on the cutting room floor — just like in the movies. And as much as I might like them, some photos just don't make it into the magazine story.

That was the case with these photos below that I worked on with our food editor Eric Vellend, food stylist Sasha Seymour, and photographer Michael Graydon. These three were probably my favourite from the photo shoot, so it was especially hard to see them go, but it's fun to share them with you now.

The first is a lovely photo of Eric's silken tofu dish. I love the graphic blue-green art in the background. The gorgeous bowls are from a Toronto ceramist called Clayshapes. If you can believe it, the surface those bowls are setting on is an old-school locker!

This second photo features another bowl from Clayshapes. I love the painterly colouring on it. We shot this as a possible opening page to the food section. Gosh, those eggs are beautiful.

This supermodel is actually Eric, wearing my husband's bow tie!

Pick up our January 2013 issue to see which photos did make the cut.

See our Asian-Inspired Dishes if this blog post made your mouth water.

Photo credits:
1-3. House & Home January 2013 issue, photography by Michael Graydon


Stacey Smithers

I have a confession. I drive through pretty neighbourhoods (possibly yours too) across the city admiring gorgeous houses. This is my favourite time of year to live vicariously through the homes of others, when the festive decorations come out.

Your front door is the first hint of what guests can expect once they pass the threshold. Front door decorating can be overwhelming with the endless array of wreaths, lanterns, statues and arrangements out there. Some opt for heavy trimmings while others, like myself, prefer delicate accents. The holidays are a great time to showcase your personal style, so deck as you please!

Here are some beautiful entryway ideas to inspire you:

This ski lodge-style exterior is heavily decorated but just right with its organic theme.

I'm not sure if it's the whimsical display or the stunning deep indigo colour, but this door takes my breath away. I would like a door just like this one day.

I like the effect of an entire walkway adorned, not just the front door.

This is just really fun!

I'm constantly looking for inspiration in the Christmas aisles, but particularly this year since I have to work around a green door that is already pretty festive. Here are some favourite items I've come across:

A pop of colour from Etsy.

For the minimalist: Williams-Sonoma's Bay Leaf Wreath & Garland.

Swap traditional outdoor lights for these quirky globes from Pottery Barn.

Restoration Hardware carries a great assortment of rustic trimmings, which can also be used indoors.

I just picked up this giant lantern from HomeSense, along with a flameless candle. Line your front steps with a few of them for a welcoming glow.

Check back soon to see how I made out with my green door.

Photo credits:
1. Orphic Pixel
2. Broste Copenhagen
3. Pottery Barn via Little Black Sweats
4. Small Home & Garden
5. Elegantholidays shop, Etsy
6. Bay Leaf Wreath & Garland, Williams-Sonoma
7. Lit Allium Flowers, Pottery Barn
8. Driftwood Trees and Driftwood Wreath, Restoration Hardware
9. Weathered Antler Wreaths, Restoration Hardware
10. Floriana Paonessa


Floriana Paonessa

My hunt for Christmas decorations is finally wrapping up. I found beautiful outdoor holiday items at Pottery Barn recently, and thought I would share my favourites.

These twig and white light decorations would add a natural, earthy look to any outdoor space.

Hang these Lit Allium Flowers from your porch ceiling for extra light at your front door or nestle a few in the snow to illuminate your walkway.

Pottery Barn also has a great selection of festive wreaths for whatever style you have going for the holidays!

Click here to find a Pottery Barn near you, or shop online via Happy decorating!

See our Creative Holiday Decorating Ideas photo gallery for more tips.

Photo credits:
1. Lit Twig Trees, Pottery Barn
2. Lit Twig Star, Pottery Barn
3. Lit Twig Snowflakes, Pottery Barn
4-5. Lit Allium Flowers, Pottery Barn
6. Lit Red Berry & Twig Star Wreath, Pottery Barn
7. Winter Woods Wreath, Pottery Barn
8. Oversized Red Burlap Bow, Pottery Barn


Holly Meighen

Happy Diwali! The Hindu festival of light is this week, and since my daily commute takes me right through the east end Toronto neighbourhood known as Little India, it is top of mind for me. I believe the traditions of Diwali are more centered around lamp light and firecrackers, but when I think “festival of light” I think candles! I’ve developed a bit of a crush on modernist candleholders lately and this time of Diwali and longer nights seems exactly the right moment to share some favourites.

I fell in love with this beauty at Hollace Cluny last week. I love barely there design and the Precious candleholder from Georg Jensen is exactly that. Just enough of a candleholder and not too much. I recognized it immediately as the work of one of my favourite designers, Ilse Crawford. (And I added it to my list for Santa).

With visions of the Precious dancing in my head I happened upon this little treasure at the VV (Value Village to the uninitiated) just yesterday. Isn't that a coincidence? This holder looks as if it could be the piece Ilse Crawfrod was trying to redesign when she came up with her idea. It came home with me for $3. I hope some day these two can sit side-by-side, as if having a little conversation about the essentials of a brass candleholder.

Here are some more barely there designs I love.

This elegant pair is from the 1940s by Swedish designer Lotta Horn. The mid-century Scandinavians are the masters of the minimal candlestick. Keep your eyes peeled at flea markets and antique shops. Pieces like this turn up and are often underappreciated (meaning: cheap).

And no appreciation of Scandinavian design is complete without a little something from IKEA. This set of three Näsvis candlesticks sells for $5 and also comes in red or white. I would buy several sets, mixing either the black and white or the red and white. I'd love to see them in a mass cluster down the centre of a table or across a mantel with some cedar boughs woven along their bases. Magic.

And speaking of IKEA, this one (Bjorkefall) is no longer on their web site but I definitely saw it in store a week or so ago. The design is from 2009 and it is/was available in matte black or white ceramic. I bought a pair of each. They are so Shaker in their perfection.

Be still my heart, these are the Ted Muehling Biedermeier Egg and Dart Candlesticks. The story of their design and manufacture is fascinating and only adds to their allure; read all about it at the E.R. Butler & Co. web site. They are available in 19 different shapes and sizes and in oxidized bronze (shown), satin silver, polished silver or gold plated finish. The egg also comes in robin’s egg blue or agate. Each candlestick sells for about $1,000!

These ones by Michael Guy are spectacular and the artist has a whole gallery of additional shapes to see on his web site. I can't help thinking if you found a particularly artistic plumber he might be able to fashion you some out of copper pipe. Hmm.

And finally the amazing work of Lindsey Adelman. These little brass spikes are called Nick and the Candlestick and are inspired by a Sylvia Plath poem of the same name. The set of nine comes with a walnut tray for $1,905. Stunning.

Find our Diwali menu here.

Photo credits:

1.&2. Margot Austin
3. Freak Hansen
5. Margot Austin
6. Ted Muehling
7. Michael Guy
8 & 9. Matter Matters

Yesterday we checked out all the seasonal pretty at Indigo's annual holiday preview. Here is a look at some of the highlights.

The special guests for the evening were novelist Vincent Lam (his other job is emergency physician – bit of a slacker, that guy) and style maven Heather Clawson, author of both the popular blog Habitually Chic...

and this gorgeous new coffee table book.

We're big fans of Clawson here at H&H, and loved chatting with her after her presentation.

Then it was time to look around. Even though early signs of Christmas can sometime send me into a career-mom, to-do list panic, surrounded by so many beautiful objects for seasonal decorating, it was hard not to be caught up in the holiday spirit. This tree was my favourite with its mix of woodland elements and objects that sparkle.

I'm partial to these little bird ornaments, particularly the one on the right with the sparkly gold belly and teal feathers.

My colleague Seema Persaud, who is crazy about knitting, was drawn to these clever candles that look like yarn balls and cable-knit sweaters.

What I really loved was the line of gold vintage-looking bar tools. I like entertaining, and these seem like the perfect way to incorporate the warm-metals trend into a space without spending a lot of money.

Add a bottle of prosecco to this gold ice bucket, and you'd have the perfect hostess gift for this season (hint, hint, all of the people who are coming to dinner at my place in the next few weeks).

I resisted putting my head on these furry throw cushions, but it was dicey for a while. With November's dark evenings, all I've wanted to do is curl up with a book. If I had these, you'd hear from me again around March.

This embroidered reindeer pillow (that is a reindeer, right?) would add a subtle crafty holiday note to any space.

But all the lovely decor pieces aside, the overarching theme of the event was "books are beautiful." And who among us – digital media professionals and all – wouldn't agree that books are still timeless objects of desire, wonderful to live with and even more wonderful to receive?

Read holiday decorating posts by Floriana Paonessa, Holly Meighen and Sarah Hartill

Photo credits:
1-11. Seema Persaud


Brandie Weikle

Christmas planning for me starts very early – just how early is my guilty secret.

Over my teenage years I collected a vast collection of ornaments and décor in various themes while working at Canadian Tire. These themes were put on a rotary cycle – until this year. The ultra glamorous colour schemes of Christmases past just don't fit the simple, primitive ambiance that embraces our "new" historical home. Buying an entirely new theme won't be feasible this year so I'm about to turn minimalist. Traditional greenery and cosy blankets are what I have in mind.

Here's my inspiration shot. Although this living room is stunning in its cream and green colour palette, I think cheery accents are needed. Here are some new additions I have my eye on that won't break the bank.

The gorgeous forest scene on these porcelain plates from Pottery Barn would look lovely over our all white dinnerware – I love the soft winter colours. The price is $49.95/set of four.

Texture is key to an inviting holiday decorating scheme, and these faux fur stockings from Restoration Hardware would breathe subtle luxury below a bed of evergreen swags. These retail for $29 each but are currently on sale for $19.

A pop of colour like this tray from Urban Barn would contrast nicely with neutral-coloured mugs filled with hot cocoa. It comes in four hues for $19 each.

Call me fanatical but my wrapping goes with the theme of the year. I came across these beautiful tree bark gift tags made from salvaged wood, which will look great under my very first real tree. They will also not be much safer for the cats than ribbon. You can find them at Anthropologie for $14 /set of 10.

I'm partial to chunky pillar candles but these rustic aluminum tapers from West Elm may have me converted. They range from $30.30 to $35.53.

Now I have to sit tight and wait till it’s socially acceptable to bring all this great new stuff out.

Check out holiday decorating blog posts from Sarah Hartill and Holly Meighen.

Photo credits:
2. Pottery Barn
3. Restoration Hardware
4. Urban Barn
5. Anthropologie
5. West Elm

If you can believe it folks, Christmas is just seven weeks away. This is the perfect time of year to swing by The Bay to check out their beautiful Christmas Street. Last week House & Home editors had the opportunity to walk through Christmas Street at The Bay’s Queen Street location. The event was hosted by Arren Williams, creative director of home fashions, alongside interior designer Brian Gluckstein. Both Arren and Brian walked us through their collections and noted some of their favourite pieces. All the collections are beautifully executed, very inspiring and are full of gorgeous finds for the holidays.

Here's Arren Wiliams by a Christmas tree with wide red tartan ribbons garlands.

Brian Gluckstein talks to guests about some of the key pieces in his holiday collection.

These sparkly silver reindeer are part of Brian's line.

Part of The Bay's regular holiday line, these tartan bears are right on trend.

These reindeer and gingerbread house ornaments caught my eye.

This classic red blanket and antler-look reindeer decoration would make a great foundation for a masculine, winter cottage look.

Recently on Facebook, Arren mentioned the Gluckstein Faux Fur throws, promising that with "one touch you'll fall in love." And fall in love I did. I absolutely love this one in the Wolf colourway. It's definitely going on my wish list this Christmas!

While you're picking up Christmas decorations, you might want to get a little Christmas shopping done as well. Just along the path from Christmas Street you'll find a few new collections in The Bay's stationary section, including one from Jonathan Adler and a fun line called Cake. But what I'm most excited about is the Ordning & Reda line above. The brand is Swedish, and the name translates to "Order and Method." The company has been producing great quality folders, pencil-cases, letter-writing paper and so forth since 1990. It's definitely worth checking out.

See the holiday decorations that have caught Holly Meighen's eye this season.

Photo credits:
1-9. Sarah Hartill


Sarah Hartill

Here we are and it is already November. I do not now how everyone else feels, but for me October seemed to go as quickly as it came.

I know it's a little early to think about Christmas, but knowing how time flies, I am going to take a jump start at previewing the new holiday collection just out from West Elm. Take a look and let me know if you have started thinking about how you will decorate your home this year!

I have always loved West Elms ornaments. Each year they come out with wonderful items to add to your collection from seasons before.

Here are a few of my favourite felt ornaments available this season.

These felt garlands are also high up on my love list for this season's ornaments. You can do so many things with these, like hang ornaments off them on your fireplace mantle or your staircase handrail so not to mark it up for the rest of the year.

Continuing in the felt theme, these white and red felt wreaths are perfect for the indoor or the front of condo doors. Classic colours and simple elegance.

That's it for today. Stayed tuned for more decoration talk in my next blog!

See how H&H Editors plan to wrap their holiday gifts this year.

Photo credit:

1-7. West Elm


Holly Meighen

For the Thanksgiving long weekend I spent some time in Haliburton at my family's cottage. Among the hustle and bustle of closing up the cottage for the winter, my mom, aunt and I ventured out on the rainy Saturday to Calder's Antiques & Custom Cabinetry. We are in the middle of finishing a mini renovation of one of our bunkies and wanted to explore some storage options.

With a background in Canadian antique furniture repair, restoration and refinishing, Calder's has three warehouses stocked full of wardrobes, hutches, chests, desks and chairs.

After being in the business of restoration his "whole life," Ed Calder gained a unique perspective on the impeccable solid-wood construction and distressed finishes that he and his talented employees expertly restore.

Now, among his huge inventory of antiques, he prides his business on custom woodworking and finishing — designing and producing anything from a small desk to whole kitchens. Above is a kitchen he designed and is in the middle of building.

Hanging on the wall when you walk into the warehouse is a small selection of the finishes and mouldings they can customize — there are boxes more as you can see on the right. They also have a paint deck available for custom colours.

In a matter of minutes, Ed whipped up a drawing of the small cabinet that we wanted for our cottage, which will be delivered in the spring.

And here are some custom pieces from Calder's that we previously had made for other rooms in the cottage.

For custom wood furniture in the GTA, read Margot Austin's blog post about Woodcraft in Markham.

Photo credits:
1-8. Lauren Petroff


Lauren Petroff

I've recently noticed a return to curvy silhouettes, the kind popular in the era of Marilyn Monroe and Lana Turner, when a little va va voom was all the rage. In particular, our seats are taking on a rounder, softer shape. I'm not talking overstuffed and oversized. On the contrary, these sofas and chairs are trim and tailored, recalling mid-20th century tastes.

Hallmarks include button tufting and simple tapered wood legs, which give even larger pieces a light, leggy look. Chelsea Textiles recently expanded its mid-century furniture collection to include this three-seat sofa, upholstered in vintage-esque pale green.

Cheeky Brit firm Deadgood added the more streamlined Loved Up Double (left) to its catalogue this year, which has a high back and deep wings that cocoon whoever is lucky enough to recline in its embrace. Its signature love button detailing also shakes up the usual linear pattern of tufting and is sweetly playful. And trendsetting Anthropologie nails the look with its shapely Soren Chair (right), which is handcrafted in the U.S. and comes in orange and yellow, as well as laid-back beige.

A few blog posts back, I wrote about today's growing fan base for modern furniture by Danish architect Finn Juhl. His cosy Poet Sofa, first introduced in 1941, checks all the boxes for mid-century chic without looking one bit dated — a nifty trick.

Smallpond's DA6 settee by Earnest Race for Race Furniture gives the Poet Sofa a run for most authentic reproduction. It originally debuted in Britain in 1946 as part of a series of easy chairs and settees for the modern home, and offered a radical alternative to the bulky style of traditional armchairs. Today, its mandate is much the same.

For more mid-century pieces, see our Iconic Furniture From A-Z photo gallery.

Photo credits:
1. Sofa Three Seat with Buttons, Chelsea Textiles
2a. Loved Up Double, Deadgood
2b. Soren Chair, Anthropologie
3. Poet Sofa, Design Within Reach
4. DA6 by Earnest Race for Race Furniture, Smallpond


Kimberley Brown

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