Connect with H&H

At this year's Interior Design Show in Toronto, H&H designed a kitchen for the Ikea booth using the new Sektion kitchen system

Suzanne Dimma and Sarah Hartill carefully crafted a British Eclectic–style kitchen with Joel Bray, and the results are simply stunning! Here's how they described the kitchen:

"Inspired by cosy panelled libraries, we layered soulful materials and rich colours that give the kitchen a sense of history and romance — white oak herringbone floors, matte black and brass hardware, a vintage stone-top table — then added a little modern quirk with statement lighting and accessories. Lots of smart storage solutions ensure everything is always at your fingertips: set behind clear glass doors, a walk-in pantry is far from hidden, and a classic rolling ladder makes it easy to reach the ceiling-height cabinets. High-tech appliances, a TV and an iPad deliver all the speed and convenience of the multimedia world, but the overall effect is warm and eccentric in a charming British way."

Get an up-close look at the kitchen this weekend at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (booth #926).

Here are a few of your photos on Instagram: 



This two toned kitchen, wood & old world - like tile just exudes warmth... yes? So lovely! Designed by #houseandhome & #ikeacanada for #ids15

A photo posted by Interior Design Master Class (@interiordesignmasterclass) onJan 23, 2015 at 5:08am PST



Loving the feel of this pantry in the @houseandhomemag #ikeacanada #ids15 booth! The wallpaper, lighting so good...

A photo posted by Wendy Hicken (@wendyhicken) onJan 22, 2015 at 9:20pm PST


Visiting the show? Tag your H&H kitchen pics with @houseandhomemag on Instagram using #IDS15.

For more photos from IDS15, check out our Twitter and Instagram feed. Plus, see Kimberley Brown's favourite finds at the show.




Photo credits:
1-3. via @IKEACanada on Twitter

Seema Persaud

TGIF! The acronym has special meaning this week, as the Interior Design Show (January 22 to 25) opens for business at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre today. If you're attending this weekend — and you should — here are a few things you don't want to miss:

Missoni Home

Warning: Missoni's wildly patterned sofas and ottomans might make you look at your staid, solid-coloured three-seater with a pang of regret. Giorgio Jelmini, Operations Manager for Missoni Home, revealed that the Italian brand's famous stripes were a happy accident: the first knitting machine the founder bought in 1953 could only produce stripes, so velato! (As they say in Italy.) Check out the timeline that traces Missoni's path from fashion to home to hotels, then pony-up for some pillows at the Missoni pop-up shop, funds from which will support Habitat for Humanity.


This is a new group exhibition at the show that features four artisans producing beautiful, carefully-crafted, small-run pieces. 1925 Workbench specializes in barn-style sliding doors that look great in any space. Husband-and-wife team My Le and Rock made their first door for their own small home in Toronto. When friends and then friends of friends kept asking for one (or two or three) for their own homes, the duo turned their custom-made doors and hardware into a business.

Heidi Earnshaw is also exhibiting in the Makers section. Heidi makes gorgeous wood furniture, which H&H has featured in past issues. At IDS, she's showing a marble-topped dresser with brass legs that immediately went on my wish list.

Heidi also dabbles in smaller pieces; the candlestick holders in her booth are the wood molds of ones that will eventually be cast in metal. I know, you're waiting for me to tell you about the awesome ceramics in her booth. They're by Susie Osler and look even better in person.


In this picture, my thumb is doing its best to model just how thin Sony's new 4.7 mm-thick television is. It will be available in May in 55" and 65" sizes, and is so light it can hang on the wall like a picture frame.

Ikea/House & Home

This year, H&H teamed up with Ikea to design a kitchen and the results are stunning, if we do say so ourselves. The kitchen uses Ikea's new Sektion kitchen system, which will be introduced in stores in February, and is packed with gorgeous ideas and products. I managed to snap this shot early Thursday morning when the space was being photographed. Click here for more info on the kitchen.

The details reveal clever styling tricks, like remembering to include art in the kitchen.

There's even a walk-in pantry that reminds us that storage can and should be stylish.


Canadian designer Philippe Malouin appeals to our inner child with his playful interactive swing installation for Caesarstone.

Each swing seat is made from a different sample of Caesarstone and is the perfect place to take a break and put your feet up — waaaay up — before continuing on to discover all the other great designs at the show.

Check out the H&H talks on Sunday starting at noon. Lynda Reeves, Suzanne Dimma, Mark Challen and my fellow editors will be speaking about everything design and answering questions from the audience and social media. Plus, check out this guide of extras from their talks.

Photo credits:
1-10. Kimberley Brown


Kimberley Brown

Last year, House & Home partnered with Nexxus to bring our readers the Timeless Beauty Contest. Those who entered had a chance to win an exclusive hair makeover with celebrity hairstylist Kevin Mancuso, and a design-lover's tour of Toronto's most exciting style destinations with Suzanne Dimma, plus $500 cash.

Johanna Prentice of Ontario was the lucky winner (we had thousands of entries!) and she brought her sister along for the prize! Here's a highlight of their shopping trip and makeover in December:

Suzanne started the shopping trip up in Toronto's Castlefield Design District. First up, a visit to the brand-new Elte MKT followed by a stop at Elte, where Suzanne fell in love with this brass canopy bed. Stunning.

Over at The Door Store, Suzanne spotted these vintage brass doorknobs, and more antique finds at Kantelberg + Co.

Then they were off to to Mjölk, where Ilse Crawford furniture had just arrived. Suzanne couldn't resist picking up some Christmas gifts, too.

Over in Liberty Village, they stopped by West Elm where Suzanne spotted this chic campaign dresser.

They wrapped up their shopping trip at EQ3, which was loaded with more cool finds.

After a packed morning, they enjoyed lunch at Momofuku.

Later that week, Johanna and her sister were treated to a hair makeover by Kevin at the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto.

Love the baskets overflowing with Nexxus haircare products!

The Nexxus team didn't stop at their hair — a bit of makeup completed the look.

Here are the sisters with Kevin!

And here they are all dressed up after the makeover.

Thanks to everyone who entered the contest!

Photo credits:
1-5. Suzanne Dimma
Courtesy of Harbinger


Seema Persaud

Just as this outfit made its way down the Oscar de la Renta Spring/Summer 2015 runway, we were all in the process of transitioning into cold weather clothes and decorating ideas for Winter 2014/2015. The cycles of fashion and trends can be bewildering! But it occurred to me that buffalo check — and in particular this black-and-white version — is an all-weather favourite that can take on so many different moods. A crop top is definitely not in the cards for me, but a pencil skirt with the print on the bias and spectator loafers — that I could do!

But given current temps, I'd happily cozy up to a check-clad wing chair with a wooly throw and big mug of tea.

Then again, look how fun this mid-century style Jack Chair from Schoolhouse Electric is. I think I might like it even more than the wing chair.

If I were the kind of person who had a ski lodge in the French Alps, I'd also be the kind of person to install buffalo check carpet with emerald green velvet furniture just as designers Joseph Dirand and India Mahdavi did at L'Apogée Courchevel hotel.

On the walls? Sure, why not? It can be tricky to work with a pattern this bossy. I think it's best as either the only print in the room or paired with just one other equally gutsy pattern of similar scale. This striped chair holds it's own in this Bierly-Drake designed space.

Do you remember our Ikea kitchen winner from the October 2014 issue of House & Home? Senior design editor Sarah Hartill really knocked this design out of the park. Her pairing of the bold Verdure Zoffany wallpaper with a check roman blind is the perfect expression of the homeowners' eclectic taste. Best tip: the blind fabric is a steal at $10/meter from Ikea!

If you've got white slipcovered furniture just add a throw cushion or throw to give your space a little dose of Scandinavian country.

And one last thought: It was just a happy accident that Katie Hayden's post on decorating rooms for boys also featured a room done in black-and-white buffalo check. Like I said, versatile, right?

Photo credits:
1. Oscar de la Renta Spring/Summer 2015 runway,
2. Maik Rositzki
3. Jack Chair, Schoolhouse Electric
4. L'Apogée Courchevel via A-Gent of Style blog
5. New England Home, photography by Michael Partenio
6. House & Home October 2014 issue, photography by Michael Graydon
7a. KariFisherDesign, Etsy
7b. Buffalo Plaid Fringed Throw, Schoolhouse Electric


Margot Austin

I have a new baby nephew coming any day now, and he'll eventually share a bedroom with his almost-2-year-old brother — which has me thinking about boys' bedrooms.

I've always been more partial to warm colours, and I have two girls myself, so my comfort zone is rooms full of pinks, reds and oranges. (Though we painted my girls' room in Farrow & Ball's Skylight (205), which is a really livable pale blue that sets off the bright colours.)

It turns out there are piles of great boys' bedrooms out there — even ones that woo a romantic like me, who thinks whimsy and fun are essentials in any child's room!

My favourites have rustic leanings; they feel almost like you'd find them in a log house in the woods or a summer camp cabin.

Maps always inject loads of colour and pattern, inspire wonder and wanderlust and are fun and educational. In Desmond's Ottawa bedroom, his mom Giulia Doyle set off the blues, yellows and greens with hits of bright red in the wall-mounted lamp, sock monkey stuffie and army-style blanket.

This room takes the travel theme a step further, with the addition of vintage suitcases, a steamship trunk, a stuffed giraffe and kangaroo and scientific illustrations of exotic birds. An old iron bed, understated bed linens and grey-on-grey Union Jack pillow balance the look.

I'm sold ... bright green is great for a kid's room! It's fresh and strong, but not at all overbearing. And set off by buffalo-check bed linens, it looks mod and playful. A patterned rug, strapping-topped stool and toy car add depth and character. I'm not the biggest fan of taxidermy, but it works here — and, of course, it's not real.

The worn wooden beds in this room remind me of old-fashioned sleighs. Along with the painted-wood floors, checked and striped bedding and bright red toadstool, they give the room a fairy-tale quality. And there's lots of space on the floor to flop down and play cars or colour.

I'm not certain many boys play cowboys anymore, but they did when I was a child. I'm pretty sure my nephew, Rafa, would find it fun to have thundering horses on his walls! A horse-patterned bedspread and saddle-blanket-covered headboard cushions continue the theme, while the canary yellow of the bed frame and side table clash a little bit with the rest of the room, keeping it from feeling too perfect.

Animals are a universally loved theme for children's rooms. While the wolf cub on this bedding is charming, the look is graphic, crisp and clean. First-aid-style accents bring in layers of details. (This bedding was from an H&M home collection. I can't find it available anywhere now, but H&M's wild cat bedding has a similar look, as does ByNord's wolf bedding.)

For more inspiration, check out our gallery of Editors' Favourite Kids' Rooms.

Photo credits:
1. Apartment Therapy, photography by Giulia Doyle
2. Ty Pennington
3. Interieur Inspiratie
4. Light Locations
5. Poligom, photography by Lucas Allen/GMA Images
6. Met Melk & Suiker


Katie Hayden

If you like all things European, consider a trip to Basque Country, a fascinating region for lifestyle and design. Spread across the French-Spanish border and carved by nature, it is a scenic region where rich arts traditions flow into modern inventiveness. Fashion designers Paco Rabanne and Cristóbal Balenciaga are among contemporary Basque celebrities.

Drawing on ancient know-how, local artisans personify the Basque creative genius. Just take a look at Cazaux ceramics and pottery, Amestoy jewels, Alki Furniture or Blunt Concepts — that kind of craftsmanship alone makes it worth a trip to Biarritz. The coastal city, cherished by European royalty and tastemakers since the 19th century, is also famous for its gorgeous, eclectic architecture.

Stunning historic buildings make Basque Country very attractive to style-conscious travellers. Banking on that rich heritage, sportswear designer Serge Blanco renovated a charming castle into a paragon of hospitality: the Château de Brindos. Located near the long beaches of Anglet, this quiet estate's enchanting surroundings will seduce you right away, as will the elegant rooms. Suites with a vast terrace are particularly romantic, while narrow spiral staircases leading to secret passages take you back in time, straight to France's chivalrous past! Take a room with a view on the private huge lake and stroll in the forest, or enjoy the luxurious hotel's spa, gym and outdoor pool. A serene and magical atmosphere, enhanced by the friendly staff's warm welcome, makes Brindos one of Relais & Châteaux's gems.

Gastronomy is the other reason you must visit the southwest coast of France. Among the very well rated local restaurants, Christophe Grosjean's kitchen offers an exquisite menu that can be enjoyed within the confine of a classy decor or outside, on a sun-drenched terrace. The award-winning chef elevates the taste of home-grown products in a way that will make you want to go back. After a successful career in California, Chef Grosjean came back to share his creative passion at Château de Brindos, and each dish is truly an intense pleasure for the palate and the eye. Your evening will be heightened as Sommelier Sylvain Desheulles takes you on a discovery to another world — where wine pairing is not just a science but an art form, too — while the staff helps make the experience unforgettable.

When visiting Basque Country, one can't help but notice the impeccable condition of houses, even old ones. Remote farms, castles and townhouses are extremely well preserved and decorated — both inside and out. The Basque people take pride in maintaining their homes, I learned. "They like to present well and be neat," says master glass artist Françoise Saliou, the owner of La Pierre de Lune — a store/workshop on avenue Dulut in Montreal. A native Basque, Françoise uses her precious craft to restore ancient stained glass windows, thus helping preserve historic buildings. Her expertise earned her a Special Heritage Award in 2004, as artisan of the year. We spoke with Françoise about her home country.

Corinne Cécilia: When in Basque Country, where do you like to stay?
Françoise Saliou: If I didn't have a home there, I would stay at the Grand Palais in Biarritz, facing the shore, or somewhere in the backcountry, in-between the mountains and the sea, in Ainhoa. I love the mental space and physical energy the ocean provides.

CC: Where do you like to go out for a drink?
FS: I enjoy having a drink anywhere by the sea (in Biarritz, Bidart, Saint-Jean-de-Luz, Bayonne) — everywhere in Basque Country because it's a very fun region, with many fairs and local events.

CC: What are some of your favourite places?
FS: I love local exhibitions and must-see sites such the Cathedral in Bayonne and the Abbadia castle in Hendaye. I also enjoy visiting artisans' shows and food fairs in villages, where you can enjoy authentic Basque cake and cheese, shop for makilas (shepherd's walking sticks), espadrilles (traditional sneakers) and typical Basque fabric.

Corinne's travel tips: Honour your New Year's resolution and treat yourself to a revitalizing stay in one of France's most famous thalassotherapy institutes, at the heart of Biarritz. Launched in 1979 by former cycling champion Louison Bobet, who had discovered the huge benefits of seawater to treat bad injuries, Le Sofitel Biarritz Le Miramar Thalassa Sea & Spa is a benchmark in the field of marine cures, and a beautifully designed space. Unwind in their relaxation lagoon, as you lay back in the dark and float in a basin filled with saline water, slowly surrendering any bodily tensions. Take a swim in a warm seawater pool, and finish the day off with a well-being treatment — a re-energizing wrap or a draining massage. Take advantage of expert medical staff and a healthy dietary menu offered at Le Miramar. Staying there for a week is ideal to enjoy a holistic rejuvenation and improve your health, vitality, nutrition and looks. In addition to a mental and physical boost, the high quality treatments and services will leave you with blissful memories.

Photo credits:
1a. Photography by Le Doaré, via City of Biarritz
1b. Photography by Sea Museum Aquarium Biarritz, courtesy of Aquitaine Regional Tourist Board
1c. Photo courtesy of Château de Brindos
2. Photo courtesy of Lucky Studio, via Cazaux
3-4. Photos courtesy of Château de Brindos
5. Photography by Kelly Chomat
6. Photography by Jean-Jacques Brochard, courtesy of Aquitaine Regional Tourist Board
7. Photography by B. Bloch, courtesy of Aquitaine Regional Tourist Board
8. Photography by Laurent Reiz, courtesy of Aquitaine Regional Tourist Board
9a. Le Sofitel Biarritz Le Miramar Thalassa Sea & Spa, photography by Fabrice Rambert
9b. Le Sofitel Biarritz Le Miramar Thalassa Sea & Spa, photography by Photomobile
9c. Le Sofitel Biarritz Le Miramar Thalassa Sea & Spa, photography by Fabrice Rambert


Corinne Cécilia

Comment Guidelines

We welcome your feedback on H&H reserves the right to remove any unsuitable personal remarks made about the bloggers, hosts, homeowners and/or guests we feature. Please keep your comments focused on decorating, design, cooking and other lifestyle topics. Adopt a tone you would be willing to use in person and do not make slanderous remarks or use denigrating language. If you see a comment that you believe violates any of the guidelines outlined above, please click “Flag as inappropriate.” Thank you.