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Cubist Cool

September 10, 2013

Last week I wrote about the geometric decor trend we're seeing in homes this fall. I was excited when I spotted a few other features on the trend over the weekend, most notably in's Fall Culture Preview. They framed the trend in relation to Cubism's faceted style, a tie-in to international Braque and Léger exhibits opening this fall — but same idea.

These Cubist-style lamps by interior designer Kimille Taylor stood out — aren't they stunning? A Braque original isn't in my budget but I'd be happy to settle for some artful lighting.

Their weighty, geometric forms and simple limed-oak finish have a Scandi-meets-modern look that I love. American Jazz composer Charles Mingus mused: "making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple... that's creativity." Don't these lamps demonstrate that beautifully?

Pierre lamp. Through Kimille Taylor.

Photo credits:
1-2. Kimille Taylor


Chloe Berge

Here are five items I'm coveting this week:

1. Nerd chair

This shapely chair by David Geckeler for Muuto is a real catch. It's good looking, has great personality and adds colour wherever it goes. Plus, I love the name. It definitely doesn't take itself too seriously. (Ahem, Saarinen Executive, I'm looking at you.) I don't normally go for overtly pretty designs, but lately I've been all over rosy pink and this shade is perfect. My rule is, if you go pink, go modern. I'm definitely inviting this Nerd back to my place.

2. Lampe Gras lights

I'm following Le Corbusier, Eileen Gray and Georges Braque in my fanatical devotion to these beauties. I prefer the version with a more angular shade and have decided to save up to buy a sconce for my currently all-white bedroom — maybe the white and silver finish with red accents. Or all black. Hmm... deciding might be trickier than I thought.

3. Green

I blame H&H art director Mandy Milks for the gravitational pull I'm feeling towards green. My closet is filled with all manner of things green — from shoes to shirts to sweaters — but my rooms are all about blue, grey and black. Then Mandy painted her kitchen cabinets Dark Olive (2140-30) by Benjamin Moore and brushed Calke Green (34) by Farrow & Ball on the pocket door to her bathroom, and now I'm looking at my glossy black front door and thinking I might freshen it up this fall with fresh, natural, inviting green. Not flashy emerald, but a nice dark leafy green.

4. Tati tables

Nesting tables are genius for small spaces like mine. I first spotted these ones from Asplund at Toronto store Mjölk and became giddy at the sight of their slim proportions. At 13" and 12" wide, the two side tables could actually work as a coffee table in my super skinny living room. Plus, the lacquer frames come in several colours and I can opt for a tabletop of wood, leather, metal, Carrara marble or slate. Another selling point: how the overlapping legs create a rounded, graphic shape. I'm a sucker for details.

5. Tiny Tech

Most companies show the media their new products for fall and holiday in the summer. We call it Christmas in July, and products start rolling out around now. At the recent LG preview, I fell in love with this little pocket printer that's only 3" wide by 4-3/4" long. It connects to your phone wirelessly and prints wallet-sized photos reminiscent of ye old Polaroids. (The companion app lets you edit photos before printing.) That you can stash it away in a drawer makes it all the more sweet.

What are you currently obsessed with?

See our Top Trends of 2013 photo gallery for more great finds.

Photo credits:
1-2. Muuto
3. Lampe Gras
4a. Makeovers 2013 special issue, photography by Michael Graydon
4b. March 2013 issue, photography by Michael Graydon
5. Asplund Tati tables, Huset
6. LG


Kimberley Brown

I think I speak for all of us when I say, I am done with winter. I can barely stand the sight of my winter coat and my wellies seem to stand at attention by the front door in endless mockery. That's why I've decided to declare it spring in my home and closet — weather permitting or not. If I dress and decorate like it's spring, the warm weather will follow — right?

Here are a few items on my wish list that would bring some spring cheer into my apartment, even if we do get another April snowfall here in Toronto.

I am in love with this Ted Muehling glass tableware! Delicate, handblown glass is decorated with intricate, hand-painted butterflies that appear as if they came to rest there momentarily and may flutter off at any moment.

The watercolour style of this pillow has a modern twist, and the colour palette is quintessentially spring.

The colours in this bowl are so dreamy. I feel like I should be eating yiaourti out of it on an oceanside terrace in Santorini — but I'll settle for breakfast in my Toronto apartment.

This lacquered wood peacock tray would add a punch of colour to a coffee table, or brighten up breakfast in bed — the ultimate indulgence in my books!

I'd love to add these jewel-like knobs to bathroom cabinets or an antique dresser.

I'm a big fan of colourful, mismatched plates and these would fit right in with my current collection.

Happy spring! How do you plan to change up your decor for the season? Tweet your answers to us @HouseandHome with the hash tag #hhspringwishlist.

Photo credits:
1. Avenue Road
2. West Elm
3. Anthropologie
4. DwellStudio
5. Anthropologie
6. The Cross Decor & Design


Chloe Berge

I'm not a plant person. Flowers, yes, but plants are another story. They can be messy and high-maintenance, and up until recently I've always owned a cat, who without fail makes any plant its favourite play-toy.

However, I do enjoy the life and dimension plants can bring to a home. A terrarium is a perfect — and very pretty — compromise. Over the last year terrariums have been popping up all over in a variety of stylish spherical incarnations.

Geodesic Terrarium. $295. At Restoration Hardware.

Traditional terrariums consist of a larger, enclosed glass space meant for keeping plants and insects for research and observation purposes. A subtype of the vivarium, a terrarium is meant to simulate a dry environment, such as a desert or woodland habitat.

My interest in them is less scientific, more decorative. You can still use traditional materials like soil, pebbles and dry vegetation, but opt for silk versions if you want super low-maintenance (like me!).

Glass Cloche Tabletop Terrarium. $30. At Chapters and Indigo.

This glass enclosure elevates its contents, making it an object of wonder, much like the exotic curios collected by the upper class in Renaissance Europe. Use some dry moss and a few flowers or any mix of plants and decorative items. A smaller one can be used as part of a vignette on a coffee table or sideboard. Use a larger cloche or geometric style terrarium as a stunning table centerpiece.

Glass Terrarium & Wood Base. $50. At West Elm.

The mango wood pedestal base sets this one apart from the rest.

Borris Hurricane-Terrarium. $87. At Crate & Barrel.

If you're not ready to fully commit to the trend, try something in a hurricane style. You can always place a candle in there instead if you change your mind.

Hanging Glass Terrarium. $7. At CB2.

These small hanging terrariums would be great clustered together on a patio for spring and summer.

One of these is definitely on my must-have list for 2013. Now, just to choose one and give my faux green thumb some practice!

Watch a video on how to create your own plant displays.

Photo credits:
1. Restoration Hardware
2. Chapters and Indigo
3. West Elm
4. Crate & Barrel
5. CB2


Chloe Berge

In a guest appearance on The Marilyn Denis Show, Lynda Reeves told viewers that revamping your decor with throw pillows is one of the ways we get to be an artist in our homes. I couldn't agree more. Throw pillows are an easy way to be creative and make a statement with pattern and colour, changing the look of a room in an instant.

Right now I'm lusting over these Kevin O'Brien velvet pillows from Anthropologie. Their ombre effect gives them an almost painterly, watercolour look. This doesn't come as a surprise seeing as the designer started as an architect and painter before turning his attention to textile design. They come in the most gorgeous colours — tangerine, aqua and midnight blue, the latter of which is a big trend in home decor this winter (and my personal favourite).

Adding these rich, vibrant hues to a neutral sofa or bed — they would look amazing against grey — is an easy way to give a room a quick update. Winter is also a great time to play with texture. It's the perfect season for fashion because we get to layer and incorporate materials like leather, velvet and faux fur, which add so much visual interest to an outfit. The same can be said of home decor. I love seeing these unexpected materials used in everyday items.

I once had a black velvet dress my grandmother made for me as a little girl that I refused to take off for months on end — I even wore it under my snowsuit! There was something about that material that felt very special. Not much has changed since age five. I still think velvet is a beautiful, luxurious fabric. Its subtle sheen and soft, sumptuous texture makes it the perfect material to cosy up with for winter, whether it's a new blazer or the pillows on your sofa.

For more great items, check out our Fresh Decorating Finds photo gallery.

Photo credits:
1-2. Ombre Velvet Pillows, Anthropologie


Chloe Berge

The fashion world can't seem to get enough of two things: colour-blocking and geometric patterns. Both trends made a splash on the sartorial scene about three years ago, and if the spring 2013 runways have anything to say about it, they're here to stay (for a little longer, anyway). It was only a matter of time before these looks started to make their way into our homes. We've seen graphic geometric rugs and bright colour pairings in interior design lately, too.

These need-it, want-it, have-to-have-it Kaleido Trays designed by Clara von Zweigbergk incorporate both trends. A lot of us, myself included, are drawn to soft, neutral tones in our homes — which makes these modular trays perfect accessories for a punch of colour. The powder-coated steel trays come in an array of primary and pastel colours and can be nested or stacked in endless colour combinations.

I only recently started entertaining in my own apartment, so I'm always on the hunt for new serveware. I'd love to decorate these trays with some Champagne cocktails at my next party. They would also be perfect for holding odds and ends on a front hall table or for organizing jewelry on a bedroom dresser — something I desperately need to do.

Who knows, perhaps in a few years they'll look dated, but I have a feeling these two trends may join the ranks of leopard print and polka dots — they'll always come back into style.

Kaleido Trays. From $16. At Design Within Reach.

Photo credits:
1-2. Design Within Reach


Chloe Berge

My soft spot for cuckoo clocks goes way back. As a child, the cuckoo clock my great aunt owned was a highlight of family visits. I would sit cross-legged on the floor under the intricately carved wooden house and count down to the top of the hour when the elusive little bird would appear from behind miniature doors to sing its sweet song — it was magical.

An element of that childlike wonder has remained with me to this day. However, my taste has outgrown the carved chalet style of the traditional clocks. Enter, the Cu-Clock by Magis.

Designer Naoto Fukasawa has envisioned a thoroughly modern version of the 19th-century German style. Constructed from injection molded ABS-plastic, the Cu-Clock is streamlined and minimalist, while still managing to retain the whimsy and playfulness that is integral to the original.

The ability to re-imagine such a classic design in a fresh way speaks to Fukasawa's trademark innovation — probably why the designer's work has landed in MoMA's permanent collection.

I can't help but picture the all-white style above the buffet in our kitchen. Santa, are you listening?

Magis Cu-clock. From $350. At Inform and Quasi Modo.

For more great items, check out our Fresh Decorating Finds photo gallery.

Photo credits:
1-2. Magis Design


Chloe Berge

Is there anything better than getting a card in the mail? It never fails to put a smile on my face. Time doesn't always allow for a handwritten note, but when it does, I try to take advantage. In this day and age it's becoming somewhat of a lost tradition, which makes it extra special when you do receive one.

There are certain occasions where an e-card is acceptable — Christmas isn't one of them. Please, I beg of you, send a real card in the mail at Christmas! To make things easier, I've picked out a few of my favourite lines, all of which have charming holiday collections. Even better, they're all made in Canada. Now all you need are some pretty holiday postage stamps and you're good to go — no excuses.

Kate & Birdie Paper Company is a fabulous Canadian line based out of Winnipeg. Their hand-drawn greetings feature festive, atmospheric scenes like this beautiful snowy bridge.

The winter evergreen design is also very pretty — and very Canadian.

How adorable is this little guy? This squirrel bearing good tidings comes from Ontario-based Loo McNulty Design Studio. Designer Loo McNulty has worked as an illustrator for years, but just recently used her talents to launch a line of greeting cards.

I also love this golden lab playing fetch with a star.

You know you're a scrooge when... This Yellow Bird Paper Greetings card is perfect for the grumpy uncle or grandfather in your life — we all have one. Psst...this line's a big Canadian success story, started by designer Charmaine Carlson in North Vancouver, B.C. and now sold worldwide.

This sugar cookie and doughnut design, also from Yellow Bird Paper Greetings, is colourful and fun.

Cartolina Cards has been around for a while now, but their vintage designs still make them one of my favourites. The line's founder, Fiona Richards of Nelson, B.C., is inspired by old-world treasures and vintage style. You may remember her from our photo gallery.

Okay, I lied. They're not all Canadian, but this ornament card from Rifle Paper Co. was so sweet I had to include it.

Photo credits:
1-2. Loo McNulty Designs
3-4. Kate & Birdie Paper Company
4-6. Yellow Bird Paper Greetings
7. Cartolina
8. Rifle Paper Co.


Chloe Berge

Bespoke is a big word these days. Traditionally used to refer to men's tailored clothing, the term now describes all manner of customized products, from furniture to cars. While not always the most economical choice, tailoring a product to meet your needs and taste is a luxury everyone should indulge in every so often. My latest made-just-for-you wish list addition is this Chinoiserie Devon Bench from Thibaut.

I've developed an obsession with bamboo finishes lately — I also have a gold bamboo bar cart on my wish list — so the legs on this bench are what initially caught my eye. Bamboo lends a bit of an exotic air and creates an eclectic feel when paired with traditional or modern decor.

Known for its wallpaper and textile design, Thibaut only recently ventured into furniture, offering their diverse patterns in a new way. The legs are available in 28 different wood finishes and Benjamin Moore paint colours. An exhaustive array of fabrics are available for the upholstery. I would probably go for a classic toile or carry the Asian theme to the seat and choose something from their Shangri-La collection — the options are endless!

What is really great about this type of bench — besides the custom trimmings — is its versatility within the home. It can be used in lieu of a coffee table and styled with flowers and art books, positioned at the end of a bed, or used as seating in an entryway or walk-in closet. Its ability to be constantly repurposed as you redecorate makes it a smart investment piece.

Thibaut Devon Bench, available for custom order through Thibaut. Thibaut is carried exclusively in Canada at Kravet.

For more great items, check out our Fresh Decorating Finds photo gallery.

Photo credits:
1-2. Thibaut
3. Apartment Therapy


Chloe Berge

I'm on the hunt for new bedding. It's an item that deserves some careful consideration, because it really sets the tone for your bedroom decor. After an extra day to do some online shopping over the long weekend, I think I may have found the perfect set.

This Floral Marine Duvet Set from DwellStudio is stylish and affordable. I like that it's a feminine, floral pattern without being too fussy or ultra-girly. The navy, grey and white graphic pattern gives it the quality of an ink sketch, and I love when fabrics have a painterly, hand-drawn look to them.

The repetitive floral pattern is a new take on the Art Deco rose motif (pictured above) that was so popular in the 1920s. I've always felt an affinity for Art Deco design, whether it's in the form of an illustration, architecture or jewelry — I think I must have been a flapper girl in my past life — so maybe that's why I'm drawn to this particular bedding set.

Reincarnation aside, this set is too pretty not to have in my apartment. It's also got me thinking about repainting our bedroom in this moody, navy blue colour. I've been contemplating navy for a while and it looks amazing against the white and blue bedding. I like how they've styled the room with bronze and copper accents, too, adding warmth to the space. (Sighs) I'm currently picturing my next long weekend off nestled cosily underneath that duvet with a book — what about you?

For more great items, check out our Fresh Decorating Finds photo gallery.

Photo credits:
1 & 3. DwellStudio
2. The Arts and Crafts Home


Chloe Berge

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