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.
For our April 2013 issue (on stands March 11th), we've switched up the format of our Artist File. The goal of "Living Art" is to explain why people choose their art, how they display it, and publicize more artists, from well-known international stars to homegrown Canadian talent that's on the rise. Respected art journalist Betty Ann Jordan has sourced some exciting emerging artists so you can benefit from her discerning eye, and think about acquiring their work for your own home (there are some very accessible options for budding collectors). Take a look at the compelling work these artists are producing.
We feature the work of prominent Chicago artist Jason Salavon in our upcoming April issue, displayed in the home of Robert and Cecily Bradshaw. An avowed techie, this Chicago-based artist creates digital, video and real-time pieces using his own software. His riffs on popular culture include the movie Titanic, MTV videos and Playboy centrefolds. In 100 Special Moments, Salavon culled 100 commemorative photos (everything from wedding photos, Little League portraits and shots of kids on Santa's knee) from the Internet. Fed through a custom averaging process, the resulting aggregate photos produce a hazy, sfmato (blurred edge) image that is eerie and anonymous, yet recognizable.
In 2006 there were more Ikea catalogues in print (175 million, to be exact) than the Bible. Salavon takes the 2007 Ikea catalogue and reduces it to pure colour and structure in Field Guide to Style & Color.
Salavon's digital C-print, Generic Mammal Skull (13% baboon, 36% bear, 46% human, 5% wild boar), looks realistic, but is completely synthetic. Check out Salavon's fascinating time-lapse video excerpt of a morphing skull. "As an artist I am not beholden to same masters as scientists," says Salavon. "I have the possibility of free investigation: trying to reconcile the cold with the hot."
Originally commissioned for the U.S. Census Bureau headquarters, the American Varietal project is a 40-foot "data-mural" representing the growth of the U.S. population over 220 years, which is expressed by colourful, swirling wisps. In his new work, Salavon continues the exploration of a central theme: uniqueness and group membership. "I am a subjective being that feels unique and special, and yet I am one of 7 billion people on the planet. All individuals aggregate to form other stuff, whether you are talking about molecules, cells, people, or countries." Jason Salavon's work is part of After Photoshop: Manipulated Photography in the Digital Age at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art until May 27, 2013, and April 8 to May 8, 2013 at the Ronald Feldman Gallery, NYC.
Always working with at least an idea of how her handcrafted images will turn out, Jessica Eaton's works are evocative of computer-generated pieces, but contain an authentic realism often not found in digital prints. Shown, cfaal 212.
In mid-2012, Eaton, now based in Montreal, received the Grand Jury prize at the International Festival of Fashion & Photography in Hyères, France. With eleven exhibitions in the past year or so, and her name on pundits' best-new-artist lists everywhere, it's official. At 35, Regina-born Jessica Eaton is a blazing star on the international scene. Shown, cfaal222.
"I'm a big fan of painting," says Oregon-based artist Akihiko Miyoshi. "For example, my self-portrait with bands of misty colour alludes to colour-field painting." Inspired by Mark Rothko's abstracts and recalling Kenneth Noland's squares within squares, Miyoshi adorned a mirror with sticky-tape pictograms that loosely recall types of art by these modern greats.
While the ersatz artworks appear in ultra-sharp focus, dust and fingerprints on the mirror included, the artist remains a dimly reflected cipher with a large camera obscuring his head. These Miyoshi portraits are part of the We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live exhibition of nine Oregon artists on tour throughout 2013 to various American art centres.
Lori-Ann Bellissimo is a Toronto artist who returned to Canada two years ago after working and exhibiting in Asia and Italy over a five-year span. Her work involves trapping acrylic and mixed media under individual layers of clear water-based resin. Shown, Pattern Integrity: 2 of 6.
Once Malaysia's top fashion magazine staged a shoot in front of one of Lori-Ann Bellissimo's paintings, highlighting how the batiked patterns and colours in the model's clothing closely matched the artwork. Bellissimo, who was living there and loving the indigenous textiles, says "I'm always thinking about local colour, whether it's the bus driver's shirt or the multi-facets of a woman's hair." Shown, Made In Italy: Overwhelmed 1 of 3. Bellissimo's exhibition, The Bigger Picture, is on from March 2 to 23, 2013 at De Luca Fine Art Gallery in Toronto.
For more great finds, read Beth Edwards' blog about Art Online.
Jonathan Adler started out as a humble potter, and then exploded into a powerhouse design brand, all in a few short years. Now a designer with a slew of collaborations, books, 24 homewares stores bearing his name, and a thriving e-commerce site, Adler is also lead judge on Bravo's Top Design. His trademark is colour ("minimalism is a bummer") and an exuberant approach to life. Adler spoke at Toronto's Design Exchange this past week, so we asked him about his unique design philosophy.
Adler, the author of the Happy Chic books recommends peppering every room in the home — including the kitchen — with little surprises and exclamation marks of colour. "I wanted my new [100 Ways to Happy Chic Your Life] book to be as much a lifestyle bible as a decorating bible. My approach to decorating — to be chic, bold, memorable — is the same way I think people should live their lives. As Auntie Mame said, 'Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death.'"
Adler's limited-edition line for Kohler puts high-octane hues where you least expect them, the ever-so-pristine kitchen sink. And we aren't talking safe sorbet shades. "Each colour comes from a locale that inspires me. Greenwich Green is like the manicured lawns of an English estate — this is not dull avocado green. So crisp and refreshing you can taste it. There's a very mod quality to Piccadilly yellow, especially when paired with white. Palermo blue is a nice, crisp light blue and is cool and refreshing like taking a dip in the Mediterranean itself. Annapolis Navy epitomizes nautical chic. It pairs so well with other bold colours." He has a green sink in his own Shelter Island, NY vacation home, which he says sparks a lot of envy, and admittedly, the candy-like shades do make a stack of dirty dishes soaking in the suds look better.
Adler launched his first ceramic collection in 1994 at Barneys New York (he lives in New York City with his partner, Barneys' creative ambassador Simon Doonan and their Norwich Terrier, Liberace). He's gone on to create pillows, gifts, tabletop collections, bedding, furniture, rugs, and lighting for his standalone shops, and made a recent foray into handbags. "The more I make, the more I want to make. Design is about problem solving; there are always some welcome requirements for doing what I do."
"I want to live my life in spaces of note, not tepid décor," says Adler. "Scale should always be improbable… and make your world weird." His design of this triplex for a New York client illustrates Adler's love of mid-century modern art and global pop culture. He combines a serious design philosophy with a sense of optimism. His company's guiding motto is: "If your heirs won't fight over it, we won't make it."
Adler is a teetotaler, but his work often incorporates drug references. "Design can make you more sizzling than you are," he says. "I like eccentricity and eclecticism. Humour is sorely lacking in design." If you want a giggle, read a timeline of Adler's creative odyssey. Here's an excerpt: 2006: Turns 40. Reluctantly relinquishes ingénue status. Suddenly needlepoint obsession becomes less ironic and more age appropriate.
Read another interview with Jonathan Adler from our December 2010 issue.
Sporty isn't the first adjective that comes to mind when describing Hermès, but the luxury fashion house actually got its start in the 19th century as a harness and bridle workshop — serving noblemen on the Grands Boulevards of Paris, of course.
This season, the brand is returning to its roots with a stylish new campaign, The Sporting Life. The new aesthetic celebrates "Chic le Sport" — white tennis outfits accessorized with Birkin bags come to mind — with a fun, colourful new porcelain collection, Rally 24, available in stores this May.
The new tableware re-imagines the classic chain d'ancre design as a race car track, in glossy grey, yellow, green, red, blue and black, resembling a car's paintwork. Lucky for you, we have an exclusive sneak peek of the line in this playful new video. My verdict: when it comes to the style game, Hermès is on a winning streak.
Video courtesy of Hermès.
With the leggy set taking their final strides down the runway today, the last day of Fashion Week in New York, my mind is on shoes. In a match made in style heaven, textile designer Madeline Weinrib and stiletto maestro Manolo Blahnik have collaborated on a four-piece collection of pumps, sandals, flats and wedges that marries Weinrib's prints with Blahnik's sought-after silhouettes. Double swoon!
Here is Madeleine Weinrib and Manolo Blahnik with a loafer and four-inch pump in the Daphne ikat, a print developed by Weinrib in partnership with artisans in Uzbekistan.
The Collection draws on Weinrib's signature Ikat and Blockprint fabrics, which have decorated her home furnishings since she launched her first collection of rugs in 1997 for ABC Carpet & Home, the trendsetting New York design emporium founded by her grandfather, Max Weinrib.
Take it as one more sign that pattern is a must this spring and summer, and that global-inspired prints show no sign of fading from favour.
If shelling out $700 for a pair of shoes leaves you weak in the knees, consider investing in a beautiful patterned rug (the ones pictured above are both by Weinrib) or new throw pillows. Or recover a traditional chair in a trendy fabric. A small hit does the trick — much like pairing great shoes with a little black dress.
See our Runway To Rooms photo gallery for more inspiration.
1a. Madeline Weinrib
2a. Manolo Blahnik, Catwalk Queen
1b, 2b, 4. She Finds
3a. Light Pink Daphne Handwoven Ikat Pillow, Madeline Weinrib
3b. Navy Luce Handwoven Ikat Pillow, Madeline Weinrib
5a. Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles magazine via Ohh La Lovely blog
5b. Diane Bergeron Interiors via Remodelista blog
Iconic Finnish design company Marimekko has become an emblem of innovative Scandinavian design. I popped by the Textile Museum of Canada on Sunday to drool over the mouthwatering prints and colours in their new exhibit, Marimekko, With Love, which runs until April 21st.
The retrospective looks at the origins of the company and its fundamental role in shaping a new approach to Finnish design. By using a bold, colourful aesthetic and blurring the lines between fashion and interior design, Marimekko claimed a venerated place in design history.
While wandering through the exhibit, visitors get a glimpse into the minds behind Marimekko, designer Armi Ratia and her husband Viljo, through photographs, film and insightful quotes. Marimekko wallpaper enlivens the gallery at every turn.
Yards of glorious fabric are hung like tapestries.
I found these original garments from the 1960s and '70s very Marni-esque. One of my favourite parts of the exhibit is the way the curators communicated Marimekko's conceptual approach to fashion and design. Armi Ratia's own words sum it up perfectly: "I don't really sell clothes. I sell a way of living. These are designs, not fashions… I sell an idea rather than dresses."
Original patterns and fabric swatches from the 1960s give a sense of their creative process.
I loved these vintage campaigns. The simplicity, functionality and clean lines speak to the company's modern Scandinavian aesthetic.
Shrine-like displays of textiles elevate the designs to a sacred level.
I don't know if I would be so brave as to wear something this colourful and bold, but it certainly revived the sense of risk and play that we should try to incorporate into our lives — whether through our work, clothes, or a bit of Marimekko wallpaper.
1-8. Chloe Berge
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.
Last night IDS13 kicked off the weekend in style at their annual opening night gala at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre — we creative types know how to throw a good party! I was lucky enough to rub elbows with some of the best local and international designers, and scout out the hottest new interior design finds.
With more than 300 exhibitors showcasing innovative, inspiring interior design, architecture and industrial design trends, the show is a must-see for design lovers. It's open to the public from today until this Sunday, January 27th. Buy tickets online for only $19.
A large-scale balloon installation by Chicago multimedia artist Willy Chyr greeted guests as they entered the exhibit space.
H&H's Mark Challen (left) and Kirby Miller (right) caught up with designer Thomas Smythe and his sister, Christie, of iconic Canadian label Smythe, at the House & Home booth. Catch Mark and Thomas, along with Lynda Reeves and Suzanne Dimma, up close and personal this Sunday — you won't want to miss it!
One of my favourite parts of the show was the How Do You Work? exhibit space. Four different designers explored the changing concept of today's work space by creating innovative installations inside shipping crates. blackLAB architects designed a stunning rainbow-hued pencil wall as the backdrop for their communal work table.
Dubbeldam's pop-up office had modular furniture made out of reclaimed wood pallet boards inspired by the key elements of mobility, adaptability and flexibility in a work environment.
Studio North featured 60 Canadian and international designers exhibiting custom collections of furniture, lighting, glass, ceramics and textiles. Here are a few of my faves:
I loved the sculptural quality of this coffee table by Toronto designer Endri Hoxha of Ehoeho.
This geometric Lightfold pendant lamp by Threepenny Studios caught my eye.
I also loved the delicate, paper-like quality of these wood pendant lights by Atelier Cocotte.
Guests mingled in the MCLV Lounge by the Design Agency throughout the night. Evoke flooring collaborated with them on the project, reimagining the concept of a heritage log cabin by using their luxury flooring to create chairs, stools and benches. Party-goers sipped on fruit-infused beer cocktails by Molson Canadian.
Meeting internationally acclaimed designer Karim Rashid — looking suave in a daring hot pink suit — was definitely a highlight of the night. Karim collaborated with Kia on their Design Icons exhibit, sharing his aesthetic and design philosophy: "Design is about the betterment of our lives poetically, aesthetically, experientially, sensorially and emotionally."
Can this be my car, please? Canadian-born designer Christiane Lemieux gave her Design Icon Kia a chinoiserie twist. Catch Lemieux at the show on Saturday at 12 p.m., where she'll talk about the fresh aesthetic behind DwellStudio. Did you miss my colleague Wendy Jacob's recent Q&A with the designer? Read it here.
There were lots of clustered pendant lights to be seen around the show, like these ones from Ikea.
Dinner al fresco, anyone? This patio space by landscape architects Earth Inc. was a beauty.
The pale blue and white palette of Andrew Richard Design's spring/summer 2013 collection evoked a Mediterranean landscape — and had me dreaming of warmer days ahead.
Check out these copper wall sculptures by Cocoon Furnishings — gorgeous!
All in a day's work. See you next year, IDS!
1-18. Chloe Berge
The Toronto Interior Design Show kicks off tonight with an exciting new twist: Already a fixture at design fairs in New York, Tokyo, Copenhagen, Sydney and elsewhere, the pop-up shop Designboom Mart can now add Toronto to its list of destinations.
Like a well-curated street market, Designboom is clerked by the designers themselves, so you can speak to them directly about their quirky creations, then buy from them right on the spot. More than 200 objects ranging from small furniture and lighting to accessories are for sale at prices as little as $1 and as high as $100. (The money helps fund the designers' travel costs.)
Here's a few of the designs you'll find:
1. Tea Diver tea infuser by Abel Design
The peaceful feeling of floating underwater, removed from the noise and rush of day to day life, inspired Korea-based Abel Design's deep sea diver tea infuser. Often, tea time delivers a similar feeling of calm.
2. Porcelain mortar and pestle by Designlump
The beautiful ceramic creations by Montreal designer Chifen Cheng are featured in the March 2013 issue of House & Home magazine, so consider her booth at Designboom a sneak peek. In addition to her indispensible mortal and pestle, Chifen will also be selling cups in stunning shades of grey-blue.
3. Checkmate Coat Hook by Donald Corey
Industrial designer Donald Corey challenges homeowners to look beyond typical, mass market options to find designs that tell a more personal story.
4. Daisy Garden Mat by Joe Jin
Toronto designer Joe Jin has scaled down his Daisy Garden Rug to door mat size without losing an inch of the design's whimsy. Artificial flowers snap into the grass-like base, providing a pleasing patch of green to condo dwellers and homeowners alike. (An especially welcome sight on a grey winter day.)
5. Smart Stand by Tanzency
The charm of an old fashion phone with all the perks of a modern mobile. This clever design by Korea's Sungmo Chung is Bluetooth-enabled, sized for any smartphone, and lets you use the device's other functions while talking on the phone.
For more of what to watch out for at IDS this year, stay tuned for Chloe Berge's blog post tomorrow afternoon.
DwellStudio founder and author Christiane Lemieux is one of the headliners at the 2013 Interior Design Show in Toronto. (Check it out at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre this weekend, January 24-27.) She'll be speaking at noon on Saturday, January 26th about DwellStudio's cool line of modern furniture, home decor and designer baby and kids' rooms.
Born in Ottawa, Christiane has made a big splash in Manhattan, where she lives with her business partner and hubby, two kids, and dog. (Take a tour of her loft here. Her background in fashion — she worked at Isaac Mizrahi and the Gap — translates into colourful yet chic designs that are playful (see the DwellStudio bed linens, above), yet never cartoonish. For more DwellStudio style, check out the company's fun blog and Undecorate (2011 Potter Style), her first book. Christiane makes living the stylish life look effortless.
House & Home: You're originally from Ottawa. What's your favourite example of Canadian style?
Christiane Lemieux: There are so many great things about Canadian style. I think it's this subtle mix of North American and European influences that result in a sophisticated, clean chic. Lately I have been loving what Smythe is doing in clothing. I think it's subtle and wonderfully Canadian. At the other end of the spectrum — I love what The Bay is doing. They are making Canadian heritage into a globally sought-after style.
H&H: What's the best part about running DwellStudio?
CL: The best part of running DwellStudio is the people. We are like a design-obsessed family.
H&H: What's your current source of creative inspiration?
CL: Travel. I can't get enough. We are all seeing the same things online. I love to get out and see it firsthand. I just got back from Morocco with a full sketchbook. It's the best form of inspiration.
H&H: What's one easy design resolution people can make for 2013?
CL: Get rid of stuff. Clutter will never look good. Take things away and put your space back together. You will be amazed at the results.
H&H: What advice would you give to readers who want to "live a life of adventure," like you?
CL: I think it all comes down to experience. You can live a life of adventure and never leave your hometown. It's about being committed to trying something new every day. That is what I strive to do; experience new things all the time.
1. Courtesy of DwellStudio
2. DwellStudio bedding, Pretty Little Green Things blog
3. HBC Point Blanket, The Cavender Diary blog
4. DwellStudio rugs, Design Crush blog
5. Christiane's Instagram account
6. DwellStudio store, So Haute Style blog
7. San Francisco Chronicle, reprinted from Undecorate by Christiane Lemieux, photography by Melanie Acevedo, published by Potter Style in 2011