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Decorating Finds

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

I've developed a special appreciation for old world style and decor — first sparked by a trip to London last year where I toured countless grand halls and libraries belonging to an era for which I'm convinced I was meant. When I think old world style, I think of English countryside estates with luxurious chestnut, navy and burgundy colour palettes. Fellow vegetarians would scoff at my ardent love for all things leather, and I don't blame them — how hypocritical! But what could be more elegant than a sleek settee in a rich chocolate hue?

I came across a brilliant U.K.-based furniture company called Chesterfields, which manufactures quality leather furniture using original methods of craftsmanship. Here's a peek into their showroom that had me longing for the same style at home.

I drew from Chesterfields' gorgeous palette and rich textures when I decorated my new bedroom, since I knew I wouldn't tire of the style.

I was thinking rough wood and rich leather accents, and I landed some pretty great accessories to go with an antique desk I inherited. I found this leather journal at Indigo.

HomeSense is a great place for inexpensive accessories. This stunning letter holder isn't real leather but definitely fits the part.

I like to think that everyone's interior style mirrors their fashion sense, and as the cold winter months approach, I'd love these gorgeous suede Tory Burch boots.

How chic would a Louis Vuitton travelling case be set atop a dresser? For $4,500 that's not likely to happen, but a girl can dream.

Check back soon for my next post on grand old world libraries.

Photo credits:
1. Donghia Leather
2-4. Chesterfields
5-6. Floriana Paonessa
7. Alaina Mid Calf Boots, Tory Burch
8. Case With Mirror, M21822, Louis Vuitton


Floriana Paonessa

Sunny afternoons and a slightly cool breeze in the air are all the signs that autumn is here. And this is the perfect time of year to start thinking about changing your table settings, since Canadian Thanksgiving is this weekend! I thought I would share a few Thanksgiving entertaining accessories worth showing off at your turkey feast this weekend.

Williams-Sonoma's Cloisonne Turkey Napkin Rings would add a little fun to regular old linen napkins, without the cost of replacing your napkins.

New from West Elm, these glass bottles with wood stoppers are perfect for oil and vinegar, but you could also use them for wine.

These turkey side plates from Pottery Barn would look great mixed in with your solid dishes. They come in sets of four and each plate has a different game bird.

Finally, find these beautiful Marimekko tablecloths at Crate & Barrel. Tablecloths always make a table that much more special.

I hope I was able to inspire you to try something new and fun this Thanksgiving dinner! Have a happy Thanksgiving!

See our Fall Decorating Ideas photo gallery for even more dining inspiration.

Photo credits:
1. Cloisonne Turkey Napkin Rings, Williams-Sonoma
2. Glass Bottles With Wood Stoppers, West Elm
3. Fresco Bird Plates, Pottery Barn
4. Marimekko Lumimarja Tablecloths, Crate & Barrel


Holly Meighen

We've all been hard at work on the January trends 2013 issue (on newsstands December 10th), and in the process, I've been focusing a lot on accessories. With a plethora of options pitched for the magazine, there are always a number that get cut for one reason or another. While they may not be right for the January issue, I still love the look of these geodesic pieces. They're faceted, geometric objects that would look great in any space. They can be functional or simply objet used to accessorize a vignette. Here are some of my picks:

These vases by Dwell Studio come in matte black or white and range from $20-$95.

Here are some metallic options that would look great collected on a tray or bookshelf. The first is from Dwell Studio and retails for $173. The second is an intricately cut brass candleholder from Design Within Reach — think of all the warm light and interesting shadows it would cast! It's on sale for $66 USD, so order one sooner rather than later.

These sculptures are by Made Goods, available through South Hill Home in Toronto.

Restoration Hardware carries this beautiful geodesic terrarium. It would look equally great sitting empty on a shelf. And finally, this bone china and glass box by British artist Andrea Walsh offers a great two-toned option.

For more modern inspiration, see our Contemporary & Modern Living Rooms photo gallery.

Photo credits:
1. Faceted Vases, Dwell Studio
2a. Diamond Cube Objet, Dwell Studio
2b. Tom Dixon Etch Candleholder, Design Within Reach
3a. Made Goods Senet Object, South Hill Home
3b. Made Goods Cole Object, South Hill Home
4a. Geodesic Terrarium, Restoration Hardware
4b. Large Square Faceted Box, Andrea Walsh Ceramics & Glass


Lauren Petroff

As you may have read in my previous blog post, we're giving our open-concept main floor a bit of a facelift. Part of that process involves a new pendant light over the dining table. It's definitely a focal point on the main floor — it's the first thing you see when you walk in the front door, and it's visible from both the kitchen and living room. Here's the old fixture:

We're looking for something a little less sparkly and more sophisticated, but still dramatic enough to command attention in such a long space. Here are a few we've been tossing up:

As I mentioned in my previous post, I love the look of a round pendant, and this one from West Elm would look great with our grey accents.

However, I like this edgier metal version from Restoration Hardware. It's dramatic and industrial-looking, but not too trendy that we'll tire of it.

We also think a longer rectangular pendant would suit the long, open-concept space. This boxy version from Restoration Hardware also comes in a grey linen.

Edison-style filament bulbs are right on trend, but do we think they're timeless? I'm undecided.

These double-shade pendants are both industrial and long. I love the pulley system on this one from Restoration Hardware.

Another popular version from Restoration Hardware.

This one from Union Lighting has simple brushed stainless shades that I think would suit our space perfectly.

I'm not sure we would go with something this black, but these caged pendants would add an industrial element when set against our nature-inspired wallpaper (more on that later). You can adjust the length of each cord, too.

Again, I love the black, but it may be too much of a contrast against all the white. But these three pendants with shiny gold interiors have me dreaming of gold accents like this oven hood from Dwell.

These metal pendants have unique shapes and curves, but the black may be too black.

These oversized half-chrome bulbs are quirky and whimsical, but at $28 each, they really up the price of the actual light fixture. This was definitely our favourite statement piece though.

A more subtle pendant from CB2 would fill the space lengthwise, but we were thinking filament bulbs would jazz it up a bit more, since it's quite simple as is. What do you think?

And lastly, you can't go wrong with a brushed metal factory-inspired pendant. This one from CB2 has that worn grey finish we always gravitate towards.

What do you think? Any advice? Stay tuned for my next posts to see which one we went with.

Photo credits:
1-2. Gwen McAuley
3. Short Drum Pendant, West Elm
4. Antiqued Metal Drum Pendant, Restoration Hardware
5. Rectangular Shade Pendant, Restoration Hardware
6. Filament Chandelier, Restoration Hardware
7. Industrial Pulley Double Pendant, Restoration Hardware
8. Clemson Double Pendant, Restoration Hardware
9. From Union Lighting, photo by Gwen McAuley
10. From Morba, photo by Gwen McAuley
11. From Modern Furniture Knockoff, photo by Gwen McAuley
12. From Royal Lighting, photo by Gwen McAuley
13. From Morba, photo by Gwen McAuley
14. Firefly Pendant Lamp, CB2
15. Victory Pendant Lamp, CB2


Gwen McAuley

There is something about the temperature drop in September that makes me want to spend all my time in the kitchen roasting and baking. Maybe it's the heat coming from the oven? Anyway, after a long hot summer of steering clear of the oven, it's nice to get reacquainted with an old friend. And what's nicer than to introduce an old friend with some new ones? Here are a few fellows that I would like my oven to get to know this season:

I love the entire line of Dansk Kobenstyle cookware from Crate & Barrel, but I'm in need of something along the lines of this baker. Imagine a bubbling lasagna or gooey brownies in here... yum.

When I laid eyes on this new baking set from Anthropologie by stoneware goddess Judy Jackson, my breath stopped short.

Then I clicked on the blue motif colourway and promptly passed out. Gorgeous.

And finally, because I don't want to leave my stovetop all on his lonesome, I think these copper guys would be a lovely addition to the gathering.

But seriously, how good would all that stuff look in my new kitchen? What? You thought I might go a post or two without mentioning it? Sorry guys, it's kind of the best thing that's happened to me since the birth of my son (who turns four this Friday — happy birthday, Louis!) so you will have to endure just a little longer.

See our Bistro & Restaurant-Style Kitchens for more great finds.

Photo credits:
1. Dansk Kobenstyle White Baker, Crate & Barrel
2-3. Judy Jackson Nested Baker Sets, Anthropologie
4. All-Clad 7 Piece Stainless Steel Cookware Cop R Chef, The Bay
5. House & Home Kitchens & Baths 2012 special issue, photography by Ashley Capp


Kai Ethier

I know fall is basically upon us, but I'm still finding it hard to let go of summer. My favourite part of the summer is definitely our family's annual trip to the coast of Maine. One of the best discoveries down there this year was a neat new store in the tiny village of Cape Porpoise (a few minutes drive northeast of Kennebunkport). Cape Porpoise Outfitters is the name of the store and it's home is an amazing red barn — apparently an old livery stable. The owner, Jared Paul Stern, has definitely brought a large dose of cool into this sleepy little village, selling antiques like vintage signs and watches, leather armchairs, old books (on subjects like James Bond, Steve McQueen, sailing, antique cars) and of course lots of interesting items with nautical references. It all feels very preppy, but with a bit of a New York edge. Can't wait to go back next summer!

(The store is located at 8 Langsford Road, which is just off the main drag in Cape Porpoise.)

For more antiquing adventures, see Morgan Michener's blog post on East Coast Antiquing and Reiko Caron's blog post on Quebec.

Photo credits:
1-4. Sally Armstrong


Sally Armstrong

Behind the scenes tours are one of my favourite perks of being a design editor. I had just such a tour recently and I'm pleased to share a sneak peek with you. Recently my colleagues Meg Crossley, Sarah Hartill and I visited the Markham, Ont. finishing shop for Woodcraft, makers of solid wood furniture for more than 30 years. The location features a large showroom up front, and in back is a busy hive of activity.

Woodcraft uses Canadian-grown and harvested pine, oak, maple, ash and cherry. The various components of tables, chairs and cabinetry are milled, turned and assembled at another Canadian facility. Then they are shipped to this location and await the next steps in the manufacturing process here, neatly arranged on shelves. I just love the smell of fresh wood — definitely one of my top five favourite aromas.

This beauty of a table caught our eye right away and we couldn't resist touching it. The wood had a smooth satiny feel and we all agreed we'd like to see it finished with just some oil and wax. Woodcraft will custom finish any of its pieces, but offers 20 standard stain options as well. The same table (Jackson Double Pedestal Table, from $1,360) is in the showroom in this yummy chocolatey stain. Trestle base tables are so versatile. Style-wise they straddle the line between country and contemporary with a slight industrial edge. Practically speaking they are great for accommodating many diners with ample legroom for everyone.

My favourite table is this one called the Pottery Table (from $2,410), which I spotted on the Woodcraft website. I love the large turned legs. I'm a lover of antiques, but I know from experience that the search for an antique table like this can take years — they are highly sought after. Having one custom made makes a lot of sense. Another bonus is that this table can be made to extend and add leaves, which is rarely the case for antiques. I took this detail shot in the showroom of the extension mechanism that Woodcraft makes. It's so beautiful and all wood!

Another favourite piece is the Homestead Buffet & Hutch. The one in the showroom is painted a wonderful warm white. I could picture this piece filled with ironstone in an unfitted country kitchen or with stacks of towels and pretty toiletries in a large principal bathroom. It's the kind of piece you could own for a lifetime and use in many different rooms of a house.

See our Grand Country Houses gallery for more timeless furniture choices.

Photo credits:
1-3, 4b, 5. Margot Austin
4a. Pottery Table, Woodcraft


Margot Austin

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